First off, while I liked the message about Ben Affleck being a work-a-holic who only learned to stop and smell the roses after his wife died and he was forced to raise his daughter alone, I think the whole debacle regarding his firing seemed forced. Okay, first he's this rising superstar (the youngest bada bada ever to...), then, in one fell swoop, he badmouths a client (i.e., "The Fresh Prince") and is banned from the entire industry for 7 years. That seemed a little far-fetched. While I could buy the premise that his own firm would can him, I think it a little too far fetched that he couldn't get a job anywhere... not even at a small firm and that 7 years later he would still be notorious in the industry for pulling a "Fresh Prince". Heck, if he was such a big shot, why didn't he start his own firm? Secondly, I assume that he must have had some sort of college education to become a publicist and for him to give that up to become a lowly paid city worker with his dad in Jersey seemed strange too. Even if he couldn't get another job in publicity, with a degree and experience, he surely would've been able to find some sort of work in a related field.
Also, I think it's strange that in 7 years, he didn't date or remarry and devoted his entire life to raising his daughter. No sex for 7 years (except for the solo action with his rented porno flicks)?? I suppose that happens, but for a young handsome single parent, especially an eligible dad, you'd think single women would be tripping over themselves for him.
Regarding the little girl, like I said she was cute, but some of her lines seemed way too forced and nothing at all that a real 7-year-old would every say, let alone think. For example, after Ben catches her playing "doctor" he makes a silly speech about "what are your intentions to my daughter." I guess that was supposed to be funny, but to 7-year-olds, that would totally go over their heads and they wouldn't know what they hell he was talking about. BUT to have the little girl repeat the same speech after she finds her father in the shower with Liv Tyler was completely unrealistic.
Also, the Sweeney Todd production number seemed a little too much for a first grade production, especially considering that none of the other performers had such elaborate background scenery or a stageful of actors.
Finally, the ending, while sweet, I think was totally off the mark. While Ben could've returned to NY and get a good playing job, he walked away from it just because his daughter didn't want to leave Jersey. C'mon, now. I know the message was about putting your kids first, but this was completely about letting your kids get their way all the time. For Christ's sake, he's the parent, he should make the decisions. She'll adjust, she'll make new friends. Plus, Ben made a good point. He's a grown man and shouldn't be living in his dad's house anymore. And while I understand George Carlin's sadness about them moving away, the others I didn't get at all. Liv Tyler wasn't even dating Ben. Plus, her character said she was working on a graduate degree, so likely she'd get a job and move away too once she graduated. Plus, the "uncles" in the bar wouldn't really have (and shouldn't really have) that much of a vested interest in that little girl (and if they did, that's creepy, man). They were just George Carlin's drinking buddies.
Well, putting all that aside, I did like the movie better than I thought I would. So, if you can suspend all the disbelief I mentioned, you might like it too.