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First Daughter
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First Daughter More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

It's not that bad; it's just not that good

Author: ( from Cleveland
26 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Frankly, First Daughter is not the train wreck the critics are saying it is; it's not like it was The Stepford Wives or anything.

First Daughter follows the travails of one Samantha Mackenzie (Holmes) as she breaks away from her dad (Michael Keaton) and starts college. Okay, it's not especially deep, and yes, it probably is similar to Mandy Moore's Chasing Liberty, which was released at the top end of this year and was by all accounts a stinker (I didn't see it so I can't say). We see Sam get in some fairly predictable situations; she's hounded by her Secret Service guys; she has a cheeky black roommate (Amarie Rogers) who takes a while to warm up to her; and she has trouble relating to guys until she meets James Lansome (Marc Blucas), who just lets her be her, blah blah blah. It's a little thin, yeah, and the whole fairy-tale narration done at the beginning (by director Forest Whittaker himself) is treacly, period.

But at least everyone gives it an honest stab. Keaton in particular seems to be enjoying himself as an embattled president (we could have used a little more of that, frankly) who cares about his daughter but is caught up in re-election blues. Rogers is a whole lot less annoying than I thought she would be, and her character Mia has a twist that I actually enjoyed. Blucas I find to be a terribly underrated actor; he's been good in a number of otherwise unremarkable productions, but he's solid, charismatic, and fun to watch. All of those traits serve him well here and he has good chemistry with Holmes, which you can't say about most of her big-screen beaus.

And Katie, who has to carry the film? Well, she's not really given a chance to shine. She gets a few scenes of real acting, but mostly this is lightweight stuff for her (after her performance in Pieces of April there can be little doubt she has the goods); aside from some pleasant chemistry and one or two scenes where she gets to be a little weepy, there's not a lot here for her to do but look princessy and gaze wide-eyed at a lot of things. One scene, an argument with Mia, could have really benefited from a little more heat. Katie can do anger pretty well (so would you if you had to work with James Van Der Beek for six years), and it's a shame she never gets to open up the throttle here and show off. I suspect that was Whittaker's decision, but more than once he passes on the opportunity to utilize the strengths of his lead.

First Daughter isn't a particularly memorable film, but it's not all that bad either. It's a light piece of fluff that only waxes saccharine in a few scenes, and actually has a few good moments (when Blucas reveals that he's a Secret Service agent, both he and Holmes pull it off excellently). It's by a long shot not the worst film of the year (or even the season; it's far less annoying than Resident Evil). In fact, it's a great deal like Sky Captain; a really pretty wrapping around a mostly empty box.

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25 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Good enough

Author: Thilfan
1 October 2004

First Daughter says it all.... This movie was fun and light-hearted, but by no means was it a collector's item. Katie Holmes does not always succeed in looking 18 (more like 25) but she convinces the audience that she is at least well-meaning. Michael Keaton returns to the big screen- the daddy-daughter chemistry is endearing, if not nearly convincing. The plot line was neither original nor engaging to any real degree, but Katie does an OK job of keeping interest. The love interest is charming and the scenes are moderately appealing. If you have no real expectations you'll most likely get a kick out of the movie, just don't expect too much. If you saw Mandy Moore's version of this movie you'll be pleasantly surprised to find it not so far-fetched, but it is no more original than round number one of the "first daughter" goes. If you're up for any chick- flick available, do it. If you're skeptical and short on cash... stay home.

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37 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Great Acting, awful writing...

Author: Rachel from New Jersey
17 October 2004

OK, I love Katie Holmes and do not regret seeing this movie cuz she was so cute and really did a great acting job, as usual. And, in fact, all the actors did, which shows what talent they have to be able to act in such an awfully written movie. The script was just dull and parts of the movie that were interesting, they chose not to develop. The whole problem with her roommate could have been interesting, but the problems just went away way too quickly. And, the commercials give away that Katie Holmes' character's boyfriend is a bodyguard, which seems to be the whole excitement of the movie. I would recommend that you don't pay money to see this movie, if anything, wait till it comes out on cable, it can't be too far away!

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Good Cast Wasted in a Silly and Shallow Screenplay

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 January 2007

Samantha Mackenzie (Katie Holmes), the daughter of President Mackenzie (Michael Keaton) and his wife Melanie (Margaret Collin), decides to go to college in California during his tough campaign for reelection. She requests a reduced secret service protection trying to act normal with her new mates, including her roommate Mia Thompson (Amerie), and she falls in love for James Lansome (Marc Blucas). When her security is threatened, she discloses the real identity of James and decides to return home to support her family in the election process.

In spite of having a good cast with great performances, "First Daughter" has a very silly and shallow screenplay that does not help the actors and the actresses. The story aims to expose the "tough life" of a young woman because she is the daughter of the president of the USA, but actually shows a futile, spoiled and overprotected teenager with a weak personality having a luxurious and banal lifestyle. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Filha do Presidente" ("The Daughter of the President")

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

could have been better

Author: dougiejr3 from Houston, TX
25 September 2004

The best parts of this movie - in my estimation is watching Katie Holmes run around with that tiny blue bikini on, and do the table dance with the blonde wig on. Other than that - it could have been much better. I thought the combo of Michael Keaton and Katie would have made this movie much improved over Chasing Liberty (I also thought that movie was mediocre at best). But in the end, this movie was just okay. The ending was very disappointing also. There was no resolution except that she's got her whole life in front of her. I still consider Wonder Boys and Pieces of April as Katie's best work. I hope she's got something really redeeming up next. I'd hate for her to fall under the Ben Affleck curse (good looking, made some good movies, but then started making tons of terrible ones). We can only hope.

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20 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

A pleasant pastime

Author: ClassicMovieFans
4 September 2005

The plot itself - about the First daughter who went to College in Carlifornia, far away from the White House, in order to be normal and meet friends may be cliché. Yet the movie on the whole can still hand out nice surprises every now and then. Katie Holmes has a unique face and looks intelligent enough to want to be independent as well as not to disappoint the First family. More importantly, Marc Blucas (her love interest) is not like the stereotyped Prince Charming for a teenager. At least he also looks sophisticated and mature and gives a strong case why the first daughter would fall for him. The two make an attractive couple and are on the same wavelength when they share the views on science etc.

The twist in the movie, at least I didn't see it coming, is good. Considering how many such plots have appeared on screen, I must say this one at least is not as predictable and does give me some credibility as a story about real people. The President and First Lady are not given a significant part here. The young couple already is a good reason to watch the movie. The love songs that accompanied the ball room dances are pleasant and well-chosen. If "monster-in-law" is rated 5 out of 10 here (last time I check), then "the First Daughter" deserves at least a 6.5 or 7, for its creativity and credible performance by the leading couple.

I also hope that Marc Blucas has great roles in future movies for his refreshing looks and performance.

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21 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

One of the WORST movies I have ever seen

Author: jerodm from United States
26 February 2006

I just registered with IMDb for the exclusive purpose of telling everyone within shouting distance that is one of the absolute worst movies I have ever seen. I had to do this in order to validate the two hours of my life that I just wasted on this tripe. The script was beyond awful, and it was incredibly slow. Please, for the love of God, do not waste your time on this movie. I cannot even conceive of a movie more predictable, more cliché, more utterly forced. I can imagine Michael Keaton seeing the final cut of this film for the first time and retching, wondering what the hell happened to his career. This film was clearly targeted to under 13 girls, and I suspect that they could not even stomach the astoundingly slow pace of the film.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This movie is boring!

Author: Jessica Carvalho from Brazil
24 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I cannot imagine how 11.4% of people that watched this movie can rate it 10. This movie is such a crap! The story is totally predictable and the end, they tried to make it different from the predictable comedy where the girls stays happy with the guy, but they only let the movie got worst! Katie Holmes has a terrible acting,without any life and I think this movie is a total copycat of 'Chasing Liberty'!( If you people never watched Chasing Liberty, I suggest you go, because it's much better than First Daughter and at least is original, since it was made before First Daughter) I really don't know why this movie was made. And if the DVD was mine, I would sell it for sure.

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22 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful clean fun

Author: jp4man1980 from Olathe, Kansas
26 January 2005

I really enjoyed this movie. My husband and I went to see it at the movies together. This movie is about parental love, finding yourself, first love and the college experience. It talks about how hard it is to live up to someone else expectations. It is a wonderful movie that you can watch with your kids. The actors and actresses are the best. My husband had never seen Katie Holmes in anything before and was as impressed with how expressive her facial features are. She can really express herself with her eyes. She looked crushed, happy, sad, excited, embarrassed and betrayed all with her features. Her words just added to it. Michael Keaton was exceptional as always. Marc Blucas has come a long ways since his Buffy days. You will enjoy the love and happiness that is in this film. JP

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good but not original

Author: marugorlero2 from Buenos Aires, Argentina
14 October 2005

Don't get me wrong, it is an OK movie. Not the best but not the worst either... But is it me or is this movie practically the same as *Chasing Liberty* starring Mandy Moore???? It is basically the same plot - daughter of the president of the united states leaves home seeking for some freedom, falls in love with an undercover secret agent and gets her heart broken - They actually both came out around the same time so it's hard to say if one copies the other or what happened here. But they are definitely oddly similar... Both movies are OK, acting is OK too by both Katie Holmes and Mandy Moore. The ending kind of disappointed me in both though. I am not going to spoil it but it did. I liked the ending of First Dauther a little bit better i guess but overall they were just practically the same movie...

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