I Love My Dad
review by Bobby Blakey
Patton Oswalt is one of those outspoken comedians that has been able to transcend the world of comedy into more diverse roles from drama, voice work and so much more. His latest film, I Love My Dad was inspired by writer, director, and star James Morosini’s true life experience and co-stars Claudia Sulewski, Lil Rel Howery, Amy Landecker, Ricky Velez, and Rachel Dratch. Could this bring the real life craziness successfully to the big screen or will it fail to make time for visitation?
I Love My Dad follows Chuck, a hopelessly estranged father who desperately wants to reconnect with his troubled son, Franklin. Blocked on social media and concerned for his son’s life, Chuck impersonates a waitress online and starts checking in with Franklin. But things begin to spiral when Franklin falls for this imaginary girl and wants nothing more than to meet her in person, as Chuck has inadvertently catfished his own son.
Knowing the craziness of this story I expected it to be out there, but I guess was expecting more of a straight up comedy, instead it is a mix of a pretty heavy drama and almost Hitchcockian. What starts out as a dad making a horrible decision with the best intention to connect with his son turns into the chaotic mess you can imagine this would.
Patton Oswalt is so good here bringing both a likeable character you feel bad for because you know he just wants to connect with his son even though he is the reason for their issues in the first place. On the other side you see the horrible things he is doing that is just making it all worse by the second with some just cringe worthy. Not surprising he goes all in with the physicality of the role that elevates the visual direction of the show and the narrative used to tell it.
It comes as no surprise that James Morosini is good here since he lived it, but
he goes all in creating a version of himself that is a bit off and struggling to find his way through life. You feel his pain and even though he is the one being screwed over you get frustrated with him as well knowing what is happening. Both Oswalt and Morosini are great together and offer up the dysfunctional relationship that grows into something special before the expected outcome of it all.
As the film plays out it has laughs, struggle and heart, but thanks to the soundtrack and dark direction it goes in the third act it almost felt like a horror thriller of sorts. It isn’t scary or anything, but brings the suspense of things being revealed and the impact it has on both those exposing the insanity and those dealing with it. It’s amazing this story really happened and the ending leaves you with a pretty definite understanding of how it all plays out, but there is still a sinister element that makes it all the better.
Check out this crazy true story when I Love My Dad hits Blu-Ray, DVD and On Demand on November 8th from Magnolia Pictures.