Based on a true story, I Love My Dad will make you cringe and laugh in equal measure.
WRITTEN BY NIAMH BROOK / OCTOBER 22, 2022
Written, directed and starring James Morosini, I Love My Dad tells the bizarre true story of Morosini’s father going to desperate lengths to grow closer to his son. Playing the fictionalised version of himself, we meet Morosin’s Franklin as he is leaving a mental unit after a suicide attempt. We soon learn that Franklin has a complicated relationship with his distant father and has recently blocked him on his road to recovery. Naturally distraught after his son’s blocking, Chuck (Patton Oswald) in a last resort to grow closer to his son, decides to catfish his son, pretending to be a young woman named Becca (Claudia Sulewski): a young woman working in Chuck’s local dinner.
Oswald gives a great performance as a father willing to do anything to grow closer to his son, even if it means breaking every possible boundary known to man. Sulewski is also great fun, indirectly playing both the role of romantic interest and father. With Becca being her first leading role, she holds her own against Oswald and arguably gives an equally impressive performance.
Now, I’m a sucker for some quirky direction and I Love My Dad delivers throughout, playing with the form of social media wonderfully by having its actors speak their respective texts directly to one another, bringing us (the viewer) directly into the action and granting you access within the characters heads. This technique not only allows us deeper into the characters’ psyche, about how deeply Franklin is falling in love with Becca and how out of his depth Chuck feels, but it also spares us from the horrifically dull texting scenes we’ve all been forced to endure since the rise of the IPhone.
The script relishes in Chuck’s uncomfortable actions with cringe-inducing moments littered through the film’s hour-and-a-half run time, using these to highlight how wrong Chuck’s actions are whilst also giving us a moment to laugh at the bizarre scenario on the screen before us.
Sadly, the film somewhat lost its way in the middle act, taking too much time dragging out the pair’s courtship and lacks a true emotional resolution, making the runtime feel both too long and too short.
Would I watch I Love My Dad again? Probably not. Would I recommend it? Yes. A bizarre, cringey and funny little film that highlights Morosini’s directorial promise and gives us both Oswald’s and Sulewski’s fantastic performances.