Patton Oswalt is an actor with a fun sense of humor and a loving attitude. In his newest feature I Love My Dad, he delivers the performance of being a risktaker. Not one for bad terms, but one for reconnection. I Love My Dad is a dark comedy that is clever with its deceit methods. The film itself though displays positive vibes between its characters despite the risks of Oswalt’s character. I found I Love My Dad to be inspiring. The estrangement concept of the film is a reminder of why it is important to remain close to the ones we love, even in challenging times.
The concept of estrangement in I Love My Dad is a heavy feeling for Oswalt’s character. The film is quirky, but in the lighthearted and connecting sense. The theme of mental health and disconnect between father and son is the central problem of the film. Oswalt displays the moods of being a father that is both angry and depressed by feeling shunned by his son. I found myself to have some positive laughs at the way Oswalt can display his grouchy self. Despite the hard concept of the film, Oswalt always finds a way to throw some laughs with his films or his characters.
In I Love My Dad Oswalt is Chuck. His son is Franklin, and he is played by James Morosini. Chuck and Franklin have always struggled to see eye-to-eye. Franklin has been in and out of mental health programs, and Chuck has been dismissed from Franklin’s life. That all changes though when Chuck comes across a girl at a diner. Her name is Becca, and she is played by Claudia Sulewski. Chuck realizes that with Becca being a cute girl that it can be a way to get his son’s attention. Chuck makes a fake profile with Becca’s picture on it and reaches out to his son from that fake profile which he creates. Franklin is in excitement and feels the girl of his dreams is right there waiting for him. Chuck is in excitement as well, and that is because he is communicating with his son again. He is by pretending to be Becca. Chuck may feel some bonding again, but he does not realize what kind of irreparable consequences can happen if Franklin finds out that it is his father pretending to be Becca.
The covert operation on Chuck’s end in the film has its moments of getting out of hand. There are times where Franklin makes requests in the chats to speak or see Becca, but of course as Chuck being the imposter, he declines. I Love My Dad slowly keeps entering a slippery slope of uncharted territory of emotions for both Franklin and Chuck. For Chuck though, nothing stops him from bonding with his son. That is why he keeps falling into the pattern of pretending to be Becca through the fake social media profile he created. Morosini is also the director, and he knows how to build character chemistry of tension in Oswalt’s performance and his performance as Franklin.
I Love My Dad is a loving and touching film. Despite the deceits and the harshness, it brings the bonding of father and son back. It is a film that is about giving others we love another chance. It also shows how far some go to help their children. Three and a half stars for I Love My Dad.