|I Love You, Daddy|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Louis C.K.|
|Screenplay by||Louis C.K.|
|Edited by||Louis C.K.|
I Love You, Daddy is a 2017 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Louis C.K. and starring C.K., Chloë Grace Moretz, Pamela Adlon, John Malkovich, Rose Byrne, Charlie Day and Helen Hunt. Co-producer Vernon Chatman co-wrote the story with C.K.; it is C.K.'s first film as director since Pootie Tang, released sixteen years earlier. C.K. plays television writer and producer Glen Topher, who becomes disconcerted after his teenage daughter (Moretz) is seduced by a much older film director (Malkovich).
The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2017. Initially scheduled to be released in the United States on November 17, 2017 by The Orchard, the film was dropped following sexual misconduct accusations made against C.K. a week prior to the intended debut. On December 8, 2017, it was reported that C.K. was purchasing the film's global distribution rights back from The Orchard.
Glen Topher (Louis C.K.), a successful television writer and producer based in New York City, informs his ex-wife Aura (Helen Hunt) that their aimless teenage daughter, China (Chloë Grace Moretz), wants to move in with him, probably because of his wealthy lifestyle. Ralph (Charlie Day), Glen's closest friend, insinuates that her daughter, being an attractive 17-year-old, probably spent her spring break in Florida playing sexual games with her classmates. China asks Glen permission to go back to Florida to meet with the friends she made there, and Glen is worried but can't say no to her. Maggie (Pamela Adlon), Glen's outspoken ex-girlfriend, thinks he's being a bad father for always giving his daughter whatever she wants.
Glen just booked a new television show about nurses, set to air in the fall and for which there is no script and no cast, therefore nothing has been shot yet, much to the chagrin of Glen's nervous production partner Paula (Edie Falco). Through the machinations of an agent, famous actress Grace Cullen (Rose Byrne) shows up unannounced at Glen and Paula's production office seeking the lead part in their show. She confesses to have been always wanting to work with Glen, who in turn is deeply charmed by her. A few days later, she invites him and China to one of her parties. Veteran film director Leslie Goodwin (John Malkovich), whom Glen idolizes, is also in attendance. China is wary of him because of the media accused him of being a pedophile. When she talks to him, though, she becomes fascinated.
Some time later, Glen has started a relationship with Grace, and learns from her that Leslie has invited China on a trip to Paris with him and some of his friends. Glen is appalled, but when he confronts China about it, she appears resolute about going, and once again Glen is not able to stop her. His doubts cause a fight with Grace, and they break up. When China gets back from Paris, Glen throws her a fancy celebration for her 18th birthday, but is haunted by the idea that she had sex with Leslie. Glen confronts both of them, resulting in China getting mad at him and moving out of the house.
Months later, Glen is attending the Emmy ceremony, where Leslie has received the best director award for his television debut in a show in which Ralph is the star. Glen in the end didn't manage to produce his show, but Leslie tells him he felt inspired by their meeting to finally accept to work for television. Leslie also casually reveals China rejected him in Paris. In the end, with the intercession of Maggie, Glen meets China at her new job at a department store, and father and daughter start to reconcile.
- Louis C.K. as Glen Topher, a respected television writer and producer
- Chloë Grace Moretz as China Topher, Glen's daughter
- John Malkovich as Leslie Goodwin, a world-renowned film director known for pursuing the company of young girls
- Rose Byrne as Grace Cullen, a popular actress who's Glen's love interest
- Charlie Day as Ralph, Glen's actor friend
- Edie Falco as Paula, Glen's business partner
- Pamela Adlon as Maggie, Glen's ex-girlfriend
- Helen Hunt as Aura, Glen's ex-wife and China's mother
- Ebonee Noel as Zasha, China's best friend
- Albert Brooks as the voice of Dick Welker, Glen and Grace's agent
- Dan Puck as Ramen Ross
Production for the film was fully secret, with C.K. shooting entirely on black and white 35 mm film in June 2017. C.K.'s long-time collaborator Paul Koestner served as the film's cinematographer. The film's score by Zachary Seman and Robert Miller was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2017, where distribution rights were bought by company The Orchard for $5 million. It was scheduled to be released on November 17, 2017, in a limited release before opening wide on December 1.
On November 9, The Orchard canceled the New York premiere of the film due to "unexpected circumstances". The Hollywood Reporter reported that a possibly damaging upcoming New York Times story on C.K. was the reason for the cancellation. The Times published the story later in the day, accusing C.K. of sexual misconduct against five women. On November 10, 2017, a week before it was set to be theatrically released, it was pulled from the schedule. Shortly after, international distributors dropped the film and scrapped all release plans.
In December 2017, C.K. was reported to have purchased the film's global distribution rights back from The Orchard. Asked about C.K.'s move to purchase the rights, lead actress Chloë Grace Moretz said in an August 2018 interview with The New York Times that she would prefer the movie "just kind of go away, honestly", adding that "it's devastating to put time into a project and have it disappear". She elaborated the following month that she does not "think that it's a perspective or a story that needs to be told in this day and age, especially in the wake of everything that’s come to light". Rose Byrne in an interview stated: "I stand with the women who came forward, I think it will be a while before that film can be seen, and I think that’s right.”
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 37% based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 5.02/10. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw gave the film a four-star review, calling it a "very funny and recklessly provocative homage to Woody Allen, channelling his masterpiece Manhattan." Variety critic Owen Gleiberman was less positive, writing that "the film meanders, and its second half is shapeless", although he praised the dialogue and cast.
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- Bradshaw, Peter (September 10, 2017). "I Love You, Daddy Review – Louis CK's Brazen Comedy is a Screwball Success". The Guardian. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Gleiberman, Owen (September 9, 2017). "Toronto Film Review: Louis C.K.'s I Love You, Daddy". Variety. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
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