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Father and Daughters

Despite some decent performances, this melodrama doesn’t rise above perfunctory


Gabriele Muccino’s domestic drama looks at the troubled relationship between a talented but mentally ill writer (Russell Crowe) and his adoring young daughter, Katie (Kylie Rogers). The tale shifts in time between Katie’s childhood and 27 years later, when Katie (Amanda Seyfried) is in graduate school. She’s studying psychology and understands enough about herself that her chaotic upbringing has led to self-destructive tendencies and intimacy issues. Can she sort it out in order to find happiness with her new boyfriend, the sweet and caring Cameron (Aaron Paul)? There are potentially meaty topics to explore here, such as growing up with a mentally ill parent and how the past can derail the present, but the story never digs much deeper than Lifetime might. Even the performances, while not bad, are expected: Crowe fumes and pounds his typewriter; Seyfried cries (beautifully) and looks in the mirror; and Paul is sensitive and sad. The movie was filmed in Pittsburgh, and Downtown and the North Side do some good work subbing for New York City.

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