Amerie Rogers and Katie Holmes First Daughter.
First Daughter came out the same year as Chasing Liberty. They copy each other to the point of annoyance. Each in turn borrow elements from the superior Roman Holiday and It Happened One Night. All of these movies involve a naive, pampered, rich girl running away from a constrictive life, being escorted by an older man who is not whom he seems.
Holmes plays Samantha, a very intelligent young lady, who wants nothing more than to drive to college on her own and experience some independence. However, she is the first daughter and it is an election year. With secret service in tow, Samantha starts her college career. She has trouble making friends and even more trouble trying to get a guy to like her.
The movie is G rated although it does insinuate her roommate's sex life. First Daughter treats everyone in the movie seriously and most characters are fairly well fleshed out. Although this is a romantic comedy, the heart of the movie is the First Daughter's relationship to her parents. Her father at first seems overprotective but you come to understand his point of view. The First lady has a smaller role but she none the less makes her presence felt. After Samantha gets photographed partying at a club the First Lady pays her a visit. "Are you asking me to leave college and join the campaign?" Samantha asks her mother who simply and calmly responds "I am not 'asking' you."
The truly bothersome similarity between First Daughter and Chasing Liberty is that both daughters fall in love with a man who is an undercover secret service agent. First Daughter fairs the best. The cast and Whitaker's direction are head and shoulders above their Chasing Liberty counterparts. Holmes and Keaton have a scene early on where they dance in the White House kitchen. The scenes is all schmaltz. However, their relationship gets deeper as the movie progresses. One minute you see her point and the next you are agreeing with him. Actor Jerry Oconnel as well as a couple of other writers put nothing original in the script except they treat each character as if they each have a brain and a personality.
The one problem I have with this movie is that there truly is not a climax. Sure the father/daughter relationship reaches a new understanding, but the love story is left open ended. The movie also lacks that one scene where one character lets go and blows up at someone else. Tears are shed and the movie drips with emotion but it is all kept subdued. It could have used one good scene where someone lets someone else verbally have it.
Photos © Copyright 20th Century Fox (2004)