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Mon père, ce héros Review

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When Frenchman Andre (Depardieu) decides to get over his recent divorce by taking a holiday in the Bahamas with his teenage daughter Nicole (Katherine Heigl) it isn't long before the suitors are circling her. Meeting one she likes, Nicole then decides to impress him by making out that her father is her lover, and the keen-to-please Andre plays along. Predictably, trouble ensues...

★★★★★

Something of an unpalatable mix of The Blue Lagoon and Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, this syrupy teen romance would be all but unwatchable were it not for the presence of Depardieu, here lumbering through a slight plot as Andre, an overprotective father who takes his stunning teenage daughter Veronique (Gillain) on holiday to a Pacific island.

Indeed, it says much for Depardieu's professionalism that he emerges with his integrity virtually intact not only from a weak film but also a series of potentially humiliating sporting pursuits he takes up in an attempt to keep young Veronique occupied and out of reach of the red-blooded males cruising the island. When one suitor (Mille) finally manages to breach Andre's defences to steal Veronique's heart, matters take a turn for the perverse when she invents a colourful history, implicating Depardieu as her dying lover, a charade in which he, like a warped cupid, agrees to play his part.

Deeply uninvolving as the angst of loverlorn yoof tends to be, more of Depardieu and less of Gillain's romantic trysts would have helped here, particularly as the film is strongest whenever he makes an appearance.

Might just have worked but for the barely discernible direction which gives the whole thing a made-for-TV kind of feel without any of the redeeming features French arthouse fare has been known to achieve on a shoestring. Two stars, and both of those for Depardieu.

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