First Daughter

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas, Amerie, Michael Keaton, Margaret Colin
Director: Forest Whitaker

FIRST DAUGHTER is somewhere between a fairy tale and a real life romantic crisis that befalls Samantha Mackenzie (Katie Holmes), the daughter of the President of The United States, President Mackenzie (Michael Keaton). Katie has come of college age, so off she goes with her secret service men and 24/7 surveillance in tow. Becoming firm friends with her roommate Mia (Amerie), Samantha soon enough falls for a cute guy called James (Marc Blucas). She eagerly begins to experience a whole new approach to life as she finds herself falling in love with James. Then just as Samantha’s fairy tale seems to be too good to be true a shocking revelation about someone she loves makes her question everything about being the First Daughter.

Forest Whitaker is best known for his acting skills but this time around he opts to be behind the camera, so is he up to the job? Well he has directed before so is not new to him but for me his attempt at the fusion of a princess like fairy tale with a teen romantic comedy does not sit too well. It sounds good, looks good and is well meaning and sweet but it fails to evoke enough empathy for its central character and as such it will not have a wide enough appeal. It is best suited for 11 to 15 year-olds as well as though avid fans of Marc Blucas of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER TV series fame and Katie Holmes. Perhaps if it had ditched the fairytale theme it would have been more realistic and accessible for a broader audience.

All the performances are adequate yet despite Katie Holmes and Marc Blucas having good onscreen chemistry together the script fails them, it is just too average. Amerie makes her movie debut here with a very charming performance as a man eating college girl blatantly out to have fun!

This movie is mostly for young girls who dream of being princesses and meeting their prince charming and for those going off to college who dream of falling in love, otherwise FIRST DAUGHTER will have limited appeal.

3 out of 6 stars

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