Like Father (2018)

This Netflix comedy is a great example of a movie’s marketing working against it. Although the trailer and advertising campaign suggest a light comedy about re-establishing connections with the distant past, it’s instead a surprisingly caustic, brittle little number that occasionally feels punishing instead of entertaining. Kristen Bell’s lead character is routinely unpleasant and spends the first half of the movie staring into her smartphone so it’s hard to develop much of an interest in her redemption arc, which is unfortunately much of the movie’s second half. Bell and co-star Kelsey Grammer are terrific together and both have a number of well-acted, emotionally complex scenes, but the movie never really convinces the audience that these characters are worth the effort.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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