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My Father, the Hero Review

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While on holiday a beautiful young girl (Heigl), begins to tell people that her father (Depardieu), is actually her lover. Then as her father joins in the joke, things begin to get more and extravagant until the locals finally learn of the truth.

★★★★★

Another Hollywood remake of a French movie, this has the evergreen Depardieu gamely reprising his role as the divorcee dad of a daughter from hell (Heigl) whom he whisks away from mum (Hutton) in New York for the holiday of a lifetime in an American tourist haven, only to wish he had stayed chez Paris.

There's nothing intrinsically evil about this particular problem child, of course, just the combined excesses of a worryingly overactive imagination and a pitiful concentration span. Landed in the midst of their tropical idyll, Depardieu gets rapturous over the sunsets and regretful over his girlfriend back home. The gamine Heigl, meanwhile, becomes increasingly bored and is soon cooking up evermore brazen lies to spice things up when she falls for the hunk down the beach (James) and tells him that Depardieu is not her father but her lover.

Much hilarity of the sitcom type ensues — mistaken identity/ innuendo/misconstruction, etc. — with Depardieu ignorant of, then in on, the ruse and everyone else confused, shocked and indignant, in roughly that order.

This is formulaic stuff for sure, which, despite a superficial charm and an enhanced clash of the culture joke factor between Depardieu's nonchalant Gaul and the highly strung American tourists, simply doesn't add up and lacks even the sheer (intrinsically French) quirkiness which, in part, saved the original, Mon Pere Ce Heros. As with many remakes, this begs the question, why bother? Lacking any real anecdotal vim, it simply gets flimsier in the retelling.

Back in 1993, remakes weren't always such a common occurency so it proves surprising that the studios chose to use this film as a basis and what's more that they did it so badly. Depardieu is his usual charismatic self but the script fails to translate well with the generic traits suddenly appearing so much obvious in English.

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