8/10 How would you feel if you met the perfect person for you online? Someone who seems almost too good to be true. Attractive, funny, into the same hobbies you are, intelligent, etc. Now imagine you fall in love with that person only to find out that…it is your parent. This crazy but true story actually happened to James Morosini at the age of 20. After cutting his toxic, neglectful and lying father out of his life and blocking him online, his father (played by Patton Oswalt) decides to pose as a beautiful, young woman online so he can catfish his son into talking to him and therefore, maintaining a relationship. While his father is pleased to be back in the know with how his son is doing, things get complicated when his son wants to do things like talk on the phone, video chat and ultimately…meet in person. James Morosini writes, directs and stars as himself in the film since he is the most qualified person to tell his own story. Now 12 years removed from when this ordeal happened in his life (11 when he made the film), Morosini has some perspective and is able to tell his story, against his father’s wishes, to a wide audience. The end results ends up being funny, cringe worthy, sad, freeing, disturbing and entertaining. Catfishing has been around nearly as long as the internet and/or dating apps, but having your own father catfish you is something else entirely. While Morosini and Oswalt’s acting are both great, Morosini’s strength comes from his direction. This film could have easily been two people on phones texting for an hour and a half, perhaps with text bubbles popping up on the screen. Since that would get repetitive fairly quickly, Morosini wisely shows the girl Becca (Claudia Sulewski) who he thinks he is talking to so Morosini (Franklin) has someone to interact with. The pacing works well as things slowly begin escalating as this fake romantic relationship becomes increasingly serious. We keep waiting for the hammer to fall since we know that the charade can’t continue on forever. Besides the creative direction, the other strength that this film has is its heart. While it is certainly easy to see Chuck (Oswalt) for the failed father figure that he is, he is at least attempting to redeem himself and his relationship with his son has some genuinely strong emotional moments. Morosini is wise to not paint his father as a complete and total scumbag so you root for them to reconcile. The ending was rather heartfelt and Morosini succeeds in telling his story in an entertaining and compassionate way, while not ignoring the faults of everyone involved. My only mild complaints were that Morosini takes a couple of the imagined portions of the film a bit too far (a little bit of dudes kissing goes a long way, no need to overdo it) and it would have been interesting to get to know the real Becca a little bit more, since it was her identity being stolen from her without her even knowing. Minor flaws aside, this film impressed me, skillfully balanced a wide array of emotions, developed its two central characters well and makes me want to check out whatever project Morosini signs onto next. If you think you have daddy issues, check out “I Love My Dad” and hopefully you’ll get some perspective.

#BadLuckChuck / #PlentyOfCatfishInTheSea / #PattontlyUnreasonable / #AnyChessIsGoodChess / #DadBot / #TimeToFacebookTheMusic

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