‘I Love My Dad’ review: Not much funny about a cruel man tricking his suicidal son

Chuck (Patton Oswalt, left) tries to reconnect with son Franklin (James Morosini) after a lifetime of neglect in “I Love My Dad.”

Magnolia Pictures

We’re told writer-director-star James Morosini’s cringe-inducing and off-putting non-comedy “I Love My Dad” is based on Morosini’s personal experiences with his father, and one can only hope Morosini’s real-life pops didn’t stoop to the sociopathic levels of cruelty and manipulation exhibited by the fictional version. Occasionally creative but mostly distasteful and thuddingly unfunny, this is the kind of story that asks us to take wild leaps of faith at every turn—and then buy into a redemption story arc that is neither plausible nor earned.

As we learn from an opening montage of phone messages, Patton Oswalt’s Chuck has been an absentee father for nearly all of the important events in the life of his son Franklin (Morosini). Cut to present day, and Franklin is just out of a rehabilitation facility after a suicide attempt, and he wants nothing to do with his estranged father, so he blocks him on social media.

When Chuck laments this to his friend and co-worker Jimmy (Lil Rel Howery, wasted in a nothing role), Jimmy mentions he once created a fake identity so he could track his ex-girlfriend. Light bulb moment! After Chuck meets a sympathetic young waitress named Becca (Claudia Sulewski) at his local diner, he creates a fake Facebook profile using Becca’s photos, and he strikes up a conversation with his vulnerable and gullible son. Their virtual relationship eventually extends to long texting sessions, as poor Franklin starts to fall in love with “Becca.”

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‘I Love My Dad’

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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