Movie Review: Like Father 🚢

A charming father-daughter movie that will warm your heart.

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Kristen Bell (left) and Kelsey Grammer (right) stars in Like Father. CREDIT: Netflix

This post for Like Father contains spoilers, but TBH the movie is pretty predictable.

As I was watching this last Saturday night, I was thinking what other father-daughter movies have I watched before? 🤔 The Descendants, which stars George Clooney and Shailene Woodley was the only movie I could think of; even then, I don’t think the relationship between the father and daughter in both movies can be compared, as they are vastly different.

Like Father (2018, directed by Lauren Miller Rogen) follows the story of Rachel (Kristen Bell), a workaholic, who got dumped at the altar by her fiancé Owen (Jon Foster). She reconnects with her estranged father Harry (Kelsey Grammer) on her “almost” wedding day, and they both ended up getting really drunk and went on a two week long Royal Caribbean honeymoon cruise that was meant for Rachel and Owen.

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This picturesque scene is featured as the movie’s poster. CREDIT: Netflix

There are a lot of things in this movie that didn’t make sense to me and couldn’t have possibly happen in an unscripted world. The movie did not show the scene of Rachel and Harry boarding the cruise with any sort of identification. Only one scene was shown of them waking up drunk downstairs of Rachel’s apartment complex, where a limosine driver was frantically calling Rachel’s mobile phone, and Rachel and Harry were seen drunkenly giggling about it; cut to the next scene showing Rachel waking up in her honeymoon suite on the cruise, with Harry in the background. It kind of doesn’t make sense how that could’ve happen? I had questions about whether the characters required passports to travel on a cruise to Jamaica, but doing a Google search showed that they actually don’t; all they needed is a valid photo ID, which I guess they would have kept in their wallets.

I watched this movie because of Bell, but ended up loving Grammer. He’s the standout in this movie, with his charismatic personality, and funny delivery of lines. Despite leaving his daughter 26 years ago, Harry still acts like a father figure to Rachel and is constantly controlling and caring towards her. All he wants to do is make up for lost time and create new memories with his daughter, which he did. I enjoyed the way they cheated on the cruise game show; that was genuinely one moment that I found really funny.

The character Rachel appeared problematic to me, even towards the end of the movie. Her character still ended up being a workaholic, and it was as if in the past 90 mins of the movie, Rachel had learnt nothing about being in the present. It was only at the airport with her boss that she came to the realisation of wanting to go be with her father, whom she promised that she would visit in California. In the last few minutes of the movie, I felt a sense of relief that Rachel and Harry have finally reunited as a family; but at the same time, I felt that the movie waited too long for a tearjerker reunion.

Seth Rogen being cast as Bell’s rebound man Jeff felt like an odd choice. I personally think he got casted because he’s the husband of Lauren Miller Rogen, who is the screenwriter and director of the movie. If the casting director was able to get a hottie to play Owen, Rachel’s almost-husband, then I’m sure they could’ve done a better job with finding another hottie as Rachel’s new man. But anyhow, I guess the focus of this movie is the father-daughter element, the other men don’t really matter much.

Rating: 3/5

Sidenotes on Like Father:

  • Royal Caribbean as the movie’s sponsor was such a great idea. Free food and free balcony state rooms for the cast? How great it must be to be an actor on a set like that!
  • At the end of the movie, when Rachel meets up with Harry, she says that she has 9 years worth of vacation and she figured that she could use some? I don’t think vacation days work out that way if you’re working in a corporate job.
  • How did Harry carry his best friend Gabe’s box of ashes on board the ship when he literally came onboard without a luggage?

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