Fathers and Daughters Review
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Books and movies and greeting cards often wax poetic about the enduring love that a mother has for her children. As a mom, I can tell you that it’s all true. But every child has more than one parent—and the tear-jerking drama Fathers and Daughters gives the usual story of parental love a twist, focusing on a father who will do anything for his child.

Fathers and Daughters follows the stories of a father and his daughter as they struggle to carry on despite heartbreak and loss. It’s the story of Russell Crowe’s Jake Davis, a Pulitzer-winning author who battles physical and psychological obstacles to maintain custody of his young daughter, Katie (Kylie Rogers), after his wife’s death. And, 25 years later, it’s the story of his grown-up daughter (played by Amanda Seyfried), a psychologist who’s unable to build real, lasting relationships—a challenge that she struggles to overcome after she meets Cameron (Aaron Paul).

Most of us understand how hard it can be to fight our way through difficult times—times when it would be so much easier to give up. Fathers and Daughters is a film about broken, damaged people who are doing whatever they can to get by. These aren’t perfect people, but they’re real. They’re flawed and sometimes frustrating. They make mistakes—sometimes pretty big ones—and they hurt themselves and the people they care about in the process. But, in the end, they’re just like the rest of us—trying to get beyond hurts and insecurities and baggage to do what they feel is best.

The film’s storytelling, however, is often quite scattered. It jumps back and forth through time, from one story to another, and it never really allows viewers to get settled into one time, place, or story. The result is complicated and rather cluttered, and that sometimes gets in the way of telling a truly powerful, emotional story.

Still, despite the flaws in storytelling, the remarkable ensemble cast manages to give the film plenty of heart. It’s filled with characters that you’ll care about—from Crowe’s determined dad to his grown-up daughter who’s still trying to overcome a childhood filled with tragedy. It’s a challenging story—and a heartbreaking one, too. So be sure to keep the tissues handy—and be prepared to call your dad and tell him how much you love him once it’s over.

The strong cast of Fathers and Daughters has an emotional story to tell—and it’s definitely a tear-jerker. Unfortunately, though, some of the drama gets lost in the chaos—and the result is a moving but muddled drama about love, loss, and family.

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