When I watch horror films, I always where a scarf. I wrap it around my neck tightly for comfort. As the time drags on, and the tension mounts through fright, I bring the scarf up further upon my face. To shield myself from the horrors, see, and to make sure I am not overcome from fright. If a horror film is truly exceptional, my face would be buried in garment, with only my eyes peaking from its refuge.
I speak about the scarf for I Love My Dad because I spent a lot of time hiding behind the fabric. For it may not be a horror, but it is no less horrifying.
Inspired by director, writer, and star James Morosini’s very true story, I Love My Dad revolves around Franklin, a young man who is struggling with his own mental health troubles. On the road to recovery, he blocks his absent father Chuck from social media. Concerned for his son’s well-being, whilst also being terribly upset at the ordeal, Chuck decides to impersonate a kind waitress Becca to try and get his son to talk to him. However, it soon snowballs out of control as Chuck’s Becca and Franklin begin an unexpected relationship. And it only gets worse from there.
I Love You Dad is an absolute riot of a movie. Morosini definitely delivers on the shock value whilst ramping up the comedy for great effect. The is filled with absolute bonkers moments that will have you wailing loudly in your hands and gasping from sheer embarrassment.
What’s surprising is that I Love My Dad is surprisingly nuanced. Morosini may be a relative newcomer, but he delivers a deftly directed film that, once you brush away the tears from laughing so much, there is a depth to the film. It is ultimately about love – the kind of obtuse, broken love a bad parent has for their child, who pushes the boundaries of their relationship. This is helped by Patton Oswalt’s and Morosini’s incredible chemistry as father and son.
Claudia Sulewski has perhaps the most difficult performance here – having to play so many different facets of Becca. She glides seamlessly through the fray, producing a kind character who is unwillingly thrust into this crazy situations. And she handles the different versions of Becca with aplomb. A fine upcoming actress with a bright future ahead of her.
There may be a few moments that wobble a bit, especially when other (somewhat) unnecessary characters are drawn into this tightly woven relationship. However, I Love My Dad is an excellent and unbelievable comedy.
It is most definitely best seen with a large crowd, as you all mutter “no nonono” together, and hide behind your scarves!