Like Father: The Realistic Feel Good Movie We Needed
Like Father just released on 3rd August and it has received its fair share of positive, negative and often mixed reviews. But perhaps people out there are analyzing it a bit too much. It’s given the genre of comedy but is obviously much more dramatic than it lets on.
But to the core it can be argued that it’s just quality entertainment but with a little more quality than we are used to. It follows the story of Rachel, a workaholic bride who’s left at the altar by her finance due to her workaholic nature, and her estranged father who decided to come back to her life after abandoning her for about 25 years. When her father, Harry, asks to have a drink with her they both get drunk and end up on a honeymoon cruise ship Rachel was supposed to be on with her newly wed husband.
The comedic touches and irony set throughout the whole movie adds a lot of layers of unique jokes despite us being familiar with the tropes they put in the movie. There are definitely a lot of awkward jokes about the fact that they’re both stuck in the room in the Honeymoon cruise and the fact that everyone assumes they’re newly married. But there’s a lot of supporting cast that makes the movie even more interesting.
In their table, they’re assigned 3 more couples. One is a gay couple intent on fixing the relationship between Rachel and her father, the other is newly wed African American couple who are both on their second marriages, the third one is an old couple celebrating their 50th anniversary. They six people accompany Rachel and Harry in the whole cruise and always strive to ease the tension between them. They get to know of the story in the first encounter they have with them when Harry blurts out their whole life story to them.
Though, the story does take a bit to develop, we have to see Rachel on the phone a lot and disappointed faces around her. But we soon see that it’s the cliche story of her being someone who she despised: her father. She hated him for abandoning her and her mom for work but she basically ends up doing the same. That’s what Harry realizes as well because it’s all too familiar with her.
But things slowly start to change when they go hiking in Jamaica. It’s also where a hilarious scene occurs when Seth Rogen’s character denies an offer to do drugs from a local. The pop culture enthusiasts will find the irony hilarious because Seth Rogen’s defining trait is often him smoking weed all the time.
But Rachel finally confronts her father of leaving her all those years ago. That’s a moment where it stands out because usually movies have very expected lines and moments but this seemed more real as Rachel finally talks about the raw emotions she’s felt all these years of her father leaving her all those years ago. She talks about the fact that she always searched for any information on him when she was a kid. For those who’ve lost a parent, either by them just leaving or dying, it really resonates with them. The feelings of abandonment, hurt, yearning and confusion are all over the place and felt consistently throughout the years. Kristen Bell should be awarded as she brilliantly and subtly expresses all that.
Then the story of Like Father changes where Rachel learns to let her workaholic nature go and focus on what’s more important and in front of her: the people who care about her. When she finally looks around and experiences life, we can see her face naturally brighten up and feel more at ease. It’s a stark contrast to her always being serious and stuck on her phone.
Then another twist adds layer to the movie, one which wasn’t that predictable. We find out that Gabe, Harry’s best friend and law partner firm, has died and that’s why Harry wanted to really connect with the daughter he walked out on years ago. That really just makes them connect on a much more real level. As Rachel realizes that after all these years Harry only had Gabe and he lost the only family he had. In a way, they both can relate to each other’s pain as they are both left completely alone.
Despite Rachel slipping into her workaholic nature again, she decides to go to California to help her father move and to just reconnect. It’s like she knows that they’re both the only family they have left. They both have no other place to turn to. It’s a feel good movie with added layers. It’s especially interesting because Like Father may even be based on a true story by the director and writer Lauren Miller!