My Father the Hero (1994)

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Every now and then, The Dollar Tree will have a handful of DVDs for, you guessed it, only a buck! Recently, I was going through the infamous dollar DVD pile, and among 10 copies of Madonna’s flop Swept Away, there was a copy of My Father the Hero. After noticing that the film’s cast contained a couple of decent actors (Gérard Depardieu, Katherine Heigl, and Lauren Hutton), I decided to buy it. How bad could it be?

I could sense that the film was going to be pure garbage within the first five minutes, and because I absolutely love garbage movies, I was getting a little excited. The film starts off with Andre (Depardieu), a neglectful father, arriving to New York City to pick up his 14 year-old brat of a daughter, Nicole (Heigl), for a father-daughter trip to the Bahamas. At this point, the acting was horrific and Depardieu looked like Uncle Fester with his bowl cut wig from Addams Family Values. I was loving it!

Screenshot from 2015-12-07 10:37:29 (Modified)

Unfortunately, everything took a turn for the worse once Andre and Nicole arrive in the Bahamas. Nicole develops a crush on an island boy, and she tells him that she’s on a trip with her lover, Andre. Yes, she pretends that her father is her older lover. And it gets even worse! She then tells her crush that she has to pretend that Andre is her father so that they won’t get into any legal trouble. Why would anyone think that this would be a cute idea for a family comedy? I’m sure the writers thought that this “cute” lie would cause the duo to get into all sorts of funny, wacky situations, but instead, it made this film an excruciatingly painful experience.

There are too many awkward moments in this film for me to discuss in this article (it would literally be the entire film script), but here’s my top 3:

  1. 14-year-old Nicole wears a white thong bathing suit while lying out by the pool, and all of these creepy old guys are checking her out. Oh yeah, and her dad is at the pool as well.
  2. After Nicole makes it well known that Andre is her lover, she attempts to make her crush jealous by having a semi-sensual slow dance with her father. At this point in the film, I recall screaming “Please! Just make it stop!” really loudly.
  3. Nicole eventually comes clean and tells her father about her little white lie, but instead of putting an end to all of this nonsense, he agrees to pretend to be her lover for the rest of their vacation. I’m not one to preach about parenting skills, but I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t condone your child’s lies or pretend to be their lover.

I have one wish for this holiday season, and it’s to have all copies of My Father the Hero destroyed. Please, if you are able to spare a buck, look for a copy of this film at your local Dollar Tree and burn it.

-Britnee Lombas

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