For me, Like Father brought back some old unhappy feelings. I met my biological father when I was 12 years old. He then went away again and didnít come back into my life until I was an adult. So I empathized with Rachel, the character played by Kristen Bell in this intriguing Netflix offering. Her father Harry, portrayed by Kelsey Grammer, left her when she was five and returned on the day of her wedding.
I understand why Rachel is not too pleased about seeing her dad under these circumstances. But for her, the day becomes even more unpleasant. Why? Because the groom decides not to go through with the ceremony.
You see, Rachel is a workaholic -- and she canít even stop doing phone business on her wedding day. When she sees her father run out of the church, she chases after him.
The rest of the movie involves the mending of this damaged father/daughter relationship. And what a rocky road it is!
Dad and daughter so long apart.
Can they connect? How should they start?
So much to say. Emotions blocked.
So much to gain if they just talked.
Bound together on a lush cruise,
both make attempts to lose their blues.
Kelsey Grammer and Kristen Bell
take on these roles and play them well.
The film itself brings laughs and tears.
The ending rates a round of cheers.
Making amends for past misdeeds
takes courage but in time succeeds.
Itís fun watching this estranged daughter and father begin to know each other again through crazy cruise activities, especially karaoke. Fortunately, they get help from an amusing group of tablemates and a lonely teacher from Canada (Seth Rogen). But itís not easy for Rachel and Harry. She is afraid of getting too close; he feels guilty for abandoning his daughter. Rachel uses her phone practically all of the time, and that bugs Harry (as well as everyone else!). These two have one of their roughest arguments about the darn phone. And secrets are revealed -- but not here, of course.
Changes must occur in Rachel and Harry if they want any future together. Because of Lauren Miller Rogenís sensitive direction and the co-starsí splendid acting talents, we hope that happens.
Fans of Kristen Bell and/or Kelsey Grammer should not miss this one.
To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter.Ē --- Euripides
(Released by Netflix; not rated by MPAA.)
For more information, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.