SYNOPSIS: When a workaholic young executive (Kristen Bell), is left at the altar, she ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with the last person she ever expected: her estranged and equally workaholic father (Kelsey Grammer). The two depart as strangers, but over the course of a few adventures, a couple of umbrella-clad cocktails and a whole lot of soul-searching, they return with a renewed appreciation for family and life.
There are plenty of dramedies out there that delves into estranged father and son relationship. Like Father simply switches the gender and puts a pair of daughter and father out on a Royal Caribbean cruise so that they can work out their differences together with a bunch of holiday makers.
The comedy opens with New Yorker Rachel Hamilton (Kristen Bell), a workaholic advertising executive who is getting married to her sweetheart, Owen. But seeing that his future wife is more engaged to her phone than anything else, Owen decides to leave her at the altar. When her long estranged father, Harry (Kelsey Grammer) suddenly appear, he is dragged along by a drunken Rachel onboard a two weeks cruise where the most likely reason might be Royal Caribbean is footing the bill.
Written and directed by Lauren Miller Rogen (the wife of comedian Seth Rogen), Like Father is a formulaic, at times touching family drama that aims at entertaining the masses and nothing else. Miller spins a tale of reconciliation with Rachel and Harry recounting their past grouses with lots of crying and hugging thrown into the story although Harry’s own reason of why she left Rachel in the first place sounds too preposterous to be true.
There are lots of colourful supporting characters to generally keep things afloat for 95 minutes liked the cute gay couple, an old couple and the obligatory African-American couple just to make things a little bit more politically correct. Even Seth Rogen appeared in a thankless role as a divorcee from Alberta, Canada who had a one-night stand with Rachel. And I’m sure you are not keen to know about the details about a day trip to the waterfall, a rowdy game night and karaoke sessions, don’t you?
Like Father works mainly because of the presence and chemistry of Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer. They are so good in front of the camera that you forgot about the seemingly insignificant script and the kaleidoscopic feel of an extended promo reel for Royal Caribbean cruises.
Review by Linus Tee