I Love My Dad movie review and movie summary (2022)

Writer/director Morosini plays himself in the situation, as a young man named Franklin who has just left rehab after living through a suicide attempt. Awkward and a bit antisocial, he is estranged from his father Chuck after years of severe setbacks. Not long after Franklin returns home, he receives a friend request from a woman named Becca who lives in Maine; he accepts the request with some hesitation since she has no other online friends. But Becca seems genuine enough in the way she speaks, and the attention and care she gives Franklin is flattering, comforting. He quickly develops an online crush; he will travel from Massachusetts to Maine and meet her. But on the other side of the screen, Becca is actually Chuck, and “Becca’s” pictures have been stolen from a friendly diner server named Becca (Claudia Sulewski), who once told a tearful Chuck that “talking to people is a good start.”

Patton Oswalt plays the version of Morosini’s father with a big heart, as he has done for other complicated loners (“Young adult,” “Big fan”), and it’s one of the comedian’s very best performances in a film. While the film never makes excuses for Chuck’s terrible sense of boundaries or for being a bad father for so long, Oswalt’s performance gives us the creepiness that this might actually be the time when Chuck is ready to be a more present father, which makes him to fish his son all the time. more tragic. Without playing the grit or darkness too overtly, Oswalt shows the desperation in Chuck to be back in his son’s life; he’s also able to (mostly) sell the film’s digs at Chuck’s clumsy understanding of modern technology and chat lingo. With Oswalt’s sensitivity as an actor, a character who turns out to be a liar, evasive, invasive and so very manipulative can still be seen. Maybe he’s even endearing.

There is a sneaky insight into this story that wants to see how far it can take this scenario and it comes in the depiction of the conversations. The film visualizes the intimacy of a fluttering texting session as if they were dates that took place in person, like daydreams that come true in a long-distance relationship. Morosini’s cold state is instantly warmed as “Becca” (his projection of her) snuggles close and speaks the fumbling, sometimes heartfelt words of Chuck from behind his laptop and phone. With important intercuts that play like punchlines – without becoming redundant – we remember the truth behind these moments of comforting fantasy for both the son and the father. This approach makes his awkward comedy even more visceral, like when Franklin wants to text kiss “Becca”; we see what Chuck feels when his son Franklin appears in the room, starry eyed and ready to lock lips.

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