08th Aug2018

‘Like Father’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Kristen Bell, Danielle Davenport, Kimiko Glenn, Wynter Kullman, Kelsey Grammer, Brett Gelman, Jon Foster, Elisabeth Ness, Brian McCarthy, Keilly McQuail, Jen Zaborowski, Brittany Ross | Written and Directed by Lauren Miller

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Lauren Miller’s directorial debut, Like Father, fits well into the canonical fatigue of the Netflix original, a harsh and sadly true statement that any film on the platform is becoming tainted with. Like Father, I hate to say, is almost certainly dead on arrival with so little intrigue or adhesive to even have a questionable release, made even more disappointing with the talent that’s castrated and simplified in a plot so numb and saturated, you can piece the jigsaw and surprise your friends (if you had any, you wouldn’t watch this) as a psychic, within seconds.

To describe Miller’s film as simple would be somewhat an understatement. It is to be fair, a constraint of every grain of flair possible with zero ounces of originality within its bones. It within its premise showcases little to no attempt at rolling out anything independent nor interesting, cliched to the point of mesmerising quality. It has moments in which opportunities arise to ascend from moments of typical genre conventions and within the same breath of a possible rebuff, the typical avenue of predictability is taken to a land, far too often visited in the cinematic land of cliche.

Metaphors aside, It is disappointing to note that the avenues the film decides not to exercise are ironically moments of intrigue, most notably with a subplot of romance not exercised with the character of Harry played by Kelsey Grammar, in which his sexuality is questioned, and instead of exploring this aspect that would have undoubtedly opened the film up for a more intense emotional and complex vessel, yet, in typical childish fashion it becomes more or less echoed as the butt of joke multiple times throughout, utilising the topic in such a degrading and narrowminded fashion.

Like Father is sadly a massively missed opportunity to create an interesting or immersive character study. It fails to be interesting, funny or expressive in the tale it wants to showcase. It minimalises and restricts an emotionally rich and dramatic fuelled performance by Kristen Bell, who’s range is dramatically underutilised in Hollywood, ever so echoed by this disappointing venture into the midst of what should have been a relatively humour filled piece in the slightest of fractions, considering the people who built this nullified piece of entertainment.

Like Father is available on Netflix now.

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