I Love You, Daddy Screen 52 of 13 reviews

I Love You, Daddy

2017

I Love You, Daddy Poster
  • The film will, undoubtedly, be rejected by many as the unsolicited penance-seeking of a man around whom such discussions have recently circled. It's also as exhilaratingly honest and unshackled a work as many have come to expect from this auteur of cringe comedy, one that foresees, absorbs, and responds to all possible bile that might be directed its way, knowing full well of the muck it dredges up. Certainly, more can be asked of C.K. as a man, but can more be asked of an artist?

  • The whole picture feels off-kilter, a bit of one thing and a bit of another: skewering its protagonist in one scene, giving him the warm-hearted benefit of the doubt in the next. I Love You, Daddy has all of the attributes found in the great comic’s work he’s directed over the last decade—a mix off offhandedness, boorish moral lecturing eventually cut down to size, improvised humor, formal nonchalance, minor physical gags, and sentiment spiked by fucked-up-ness.

  • It satisfyingly, nauseatingly delivers on the promise that C.K.’s Louieflashed here and there—namely, that its creator/star had an iconoclastic, profoundly uncomfortable and uncomfortably profound film somewhere within the bounds of his Nietzschean imagination. Its ravishing black and white, shot-on-35mm, deliberately soundstage-y aesthetic shouldn’t so much recall Allen’s yuckiest greatest hit (Manhattan) as darkly conjure the white male ego’s endless system of delusions.

  • The enjoyment factor heavily depends on one’s level of sympathy toward the overall Louis C.K. project. Although the film’s all-penetrating self-doubt—which anticipates any external criticism that might be directed at it—limits the emotional potency of such a personal drama, there are genuine moments of levity throughout, touching on poignant ideas about the role of the artist and the value of art, aided by the grainy, high-contrast black-and-white 16mm by regular C.K. DP Paul Koestner.

  • CK’s brash, savvy humor still kills and here be some Hard Truths about entitlement of all sorts. But he’s managed in a single feature (and a show or two) to attain Allen-esque levels of highly evolved self-conscious shtick that seems to consume itself instantly. Kudos, by the way, to CK for dropping a cinephile-friendly reference to Michael Roemer in answering an audience question.

  • Some part of this movie seems to recognize its own incompleteness; it broadly quotes classic Hollywood drama through rear-projection effects, studio sets, obtrusively romantic music, and even a “The End” title card, each reference a joke on the shaggy, awkward, space-constrained drama.

  • C.K.’s Glen is essentially a new incarnation of the frequently politically incorrect, if essentially ethical, character that he played in bite-size installments on Louie. The more ambitious scope of I Love You, Daddy (which begins to drag near the end of its two-hour running time and increasingly resembles an overlong sitcom episode) allows for the schlemiel-like protagonist to engage in more elaborate exercises in merciless, intermittently funny self-flagellation.

  • By going to uneasy extremes, C.K. aims to reorient our moral compasses. But the wishy-washy places he ultimately ends up at in during I Love You, Daddy aren't up to par with his best efforts. This is a controversy-courting work whose transgressive edges are too often dulled by C.K.'s shrug-shouldered gentility. Throughout, he may not believe things will work out, but he really, really wants them to.

  • The movie seeks credit for its willingness to discomfit, to plumb the gray areas, to tell the uncomfortable truth, in C.K.’s description, “that you don’t know anybody.” But a cast of ciphers will never tell a human story—especially one about human unknowability—and life’s rich ambiguities will always elude a perspective confined, most evidently when it is trained on women, to binary extremes.

  • When I watched “I Love You, Daddy” a second time, the jokes no longer landed; its shocks felt uglier, cruder. But for once a filmmaker seemed to be admitting to the misogyny that we know is always there and has often been denied or simply waved off, at times in the name of art. The revelations about Louis C.K. and others are killing any pretense that any of this is objective. It’s very personal, and it always has been.

  • The decision to cancel the release of the film is welcome; ”I Love You Daddy”—which Louis C.K. directed, edited, wrote, and stars in—is a disgusting movie that should never have been acquired for distribution in the first place . . . The movie’s idea is fractal—it’s reflected perfectly in each of its details, which don’t just excuse but actually endorse sexual depredation as an artistic practice and as a way of life.

  • The movie's unblinking eye, combined with the lush music, strand the picture in a No Man's land between sentimentality and satire. It's the place where "edgy" comedies like this settle when they want to simultaneously disturb viewers and make them wonder if there's really something wrong or if they're just misreading signals or assuming the worst.

  • I watched it not as a critic preparing to summarize its merits or flaws to an audience of readers curious whether it was worth their time to see it, but as a sickened and disappointed fan, saying an unsentimental but still sad goodbye to one of her cultural crushes. Under those circumstances, I Love You, Daddy seemed less like a movie than like a series of symptoms presented, with shocking directness, for the viewer’s clinical consideration.

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