A Discussion Of The Most Bizarre Moments In "My Father The Hero"

This is a real movie, and we decided to re-watch it.

My Father The Hero hit theaters in 1994, when we — Erin and Leonora — were just 9 years old. It starred a young Katherine Heigl as Nicole, a 14-year-old girl who goes on vacation with her father, Andre (Gérard Depardieu). In the movie, “Nikki” falls for a total hunk working at the resort where they’re staying, and “impresses” him by spreading a lie that her father is actually her boyfriend.

We re-watched this movie. It is gross.

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Before re-watching the film, we said what we remembered:

Leonora Epstein: The thing I remember the most was her bathing suit, the white one piece.
Erin La Rosa: Yeah, and I remember that hot guy, and really wanting to make out with him.
LE: I think I just thought that in two years, I was going to look exactly like that in a bathing suit, and that my parents would let me do anything.
EL: I also thought that Gérard Depardieu was an awesome dad, like I thought it was a really sweet movie.
LE: Yeah, because they seemed more like friends than anything else.
EL: And there was that scene where Katherine wakes up, lifts her head, and looks so beautiful.
LE: I don’t remember that.
EL: Just wait, you will.

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Gerard Depardieu, divorced dad, arrives to pick up his daughter and head off to the airport for their vacation.

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LE: Ew, this is like a date, like he has to wait for her because she’s not ready. Already weird.
ER: So, she’s supposed to be 14 in this movie? That would make this freshman year of high school for her. Definitely a time when I caked on makeup.

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Katherine Heigl couldn’t be more pissed.

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EL: Why do all teenage girls hate their fathers?
LE: I don’t know, I mean I think I know. I was one. God.

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At the airport…

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LE: Ewww…here we go.
EL: Yup. It’s starting. Katherine thinks he’s flirting with the bartender.
LE: Well, he kind of is, but that’s such a gross thing to say too.
EL: It’s gross, but also not gross. It’s only gross because he does it while flirting.

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Katherine runs away from her dad because she is a moody biotch.

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LE: I would have never said this as a kid, but seeing this now…this seems like a nightmare for Gerard Depardieu so far. Like, his daughter is just awful.
EL: So what does it say about me that I identify with Nicole?
LE: I mean, I identify with her, but this is unacceptable behavior in my opinion. I’m old now I guess.
EL: You would have hated me as a kid. I was just like that.
LE: Yeah.

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They arrive in tropical paradise. Tropical paradise comes with only one bedroom.

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LE: Oh God oh God oh God.
EL: OK, that is awkward though. My parents and I slept in the same room until about the age of 18 when we went on trips together.
LE: I mean, me too, and it was the worst thing in the world.

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Gerard prepares for bedtime. aldjas;ldjfal;sd

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LE: EWWW, OK no.
EL: OK, but he has a nice chest though, let’s be honest.
LE: I don’t know you.
EL: But yeah, dads in boxers are just the worst.
LE: Yes. This makes me feel so uncomfortable, but my dad totally walks around in his underwear all the time still.
EL: My dad does too, by the way.
LE: I think all dads do, actually.

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Katherine Heigl wakes up…with the most perfect hair.

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EL: Oh my god, I think this is the moment. The hair moment.
LE: Mmm hmmmmm.
EL: Like, look how pretty she is. This is what made me want long hair.
LE: Ughhhh, yes.

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Katherine Heigl kicks off her vacation by lounging poolside in a thong bathing suit.

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EL: Not OK, so not OK. I would never do that in front of my dad.
LE: I don’t know why those thong bathing suits were ever acceptable. I remember them being big for a while, but, like, why do you want your whole ass hanging out?
EL: That’s a lot of ass.

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Katherine Heigl finally meets the island hunk. His name is Ben but you forget that 12 seconds later.

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EL: Are they both wearing white see-through swimsuits?
LE: Mmm hmm. It means they were meant to be together.

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Katherine Heigl continues her vacation by “getting to know” the other resort visitors.

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EL: It’s weird that all of the grown men at this resort react to her in a pedophile-esque way.
LE: Yeah. Definitely not normal. And c’mon that guy is like 50. This doesn’t happen.
EL: Yeah, and wearing a sleeveless jean vest. Also, he says, “I want to take some photos of you”?! That is stranger danger rule #1!
LE I feel like this is the Hotel Pedophile.

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Gerard and Katherine are about to leave for dinner…

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LE: AHHHH OK, why would you dress like that in front of your dad? But, I mean, I want that outfit.
EL: I think the only age where I actually wore that stuff was in my teen years. Puberty is a confusing time where all you want to do is dress sexy.
LE: Same. I didn’t look like that, though. I do remember watching this in the ’90s and thinking that she looked like a woman, not a girl.

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At dinner, Katherine bumps into Lover Boy, and begins the web of lies.

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EL: We have to talk about this part, because this is the start of everything. Like, why say that Gerard is her boyfriend?
LE: Yeah, because it means you’re unavailable, and if I were a dude, I’d be highly turned off by that. She could’ve at least been like, that’s my uncle.
EL: Maybe this is why we were single in high school. We didn’t have pretend boyfriends.
LE: Oh, I had pretend boyfriends who lived far away. Maybe not in high school, but in middle school.
EL: Anyhow…this is disgusting, it’s basically admitting to pedophilia.
LE: Yeah, and statutory rape, basically. “Stupid laws and stuff.”
EL: And yet, he’s somehow turned on by it, look at that smile.

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And now Katherine Heigl plays it up — making others believe Gerard Depardieu is her lover.

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EL: Poor Gerard Depardieu. I feel really bad for him at this point.
LE: But he has to be conscious of how this looks? I mean she’s dressed like that. Do dads forget?

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Lies. More lies.

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EL: Haha. “I was into dope pretty bad.”
LE I just love that she calls it dope.
EL: Like, what is dope? I feel like an idiot, but what is dope?
LE: Heroin? I guess…?
EL: We were obviously very cool kids in high school. Our fake boyfriends and our “dope.” This walking on the beach scene, too: She’s basically tossing out one million red flags, and he just seems pretty into it.

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Gerard was simply trying to help a child with her beach chair.

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LE: Oh yeah, I forgot about this…that everyone at the resort now thinks he’s a pedophile, and Nicole is totally OK with it.
EL: Geez, she’s the worst.

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LE: I feel like this was the sequence for the kids — it’s goofy, kinda like a cartoon.
EL: The music is also really insane, but it still makes me laugh.
LE: This is really dangerous. I gotta give him credit…
EL: Yeah, he’s actually a really good water skier. It’s kind of amazing that he doesn’t just let go, ya know?

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Now there’s drama — Katherine Heigl just wants to get away from her dad — and a confrontation.

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LE: OK. This is turning into, like, nightmare island for him. He’s forced to run after his daughter on the beach. Everyone thinks he’s a psycho.
EL: She’s on her period hardcore right now, it’s like a 14-year-old’s period.
LE: Oof.
EL: And this is such a beautiful father-daughter moment, and it’s totally ruined because she’s destroyed everything.

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She finally tells the truth.

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LE: Why do you have to use the word “lover”? Why couldn’t she use boyfriend?
EL: Lover is used so many times in this movie, and it’s a really uncomfortable word.
LE: Yeah, look — even he’s disgusted by that word.
EL: But…this may be the one movie where being a mistaken child molester is actually funny.

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Because he is a “loving” dad, Gerard goes along with Katherine’s lie.

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LE: Oh right…here’s the part where he goes along with stuff and actually pretends to be her lover.
EL: And now he’s faking sick. He’s kind of a really good dad to do this for her.
LE: Yeah, but it’s fucked up.
EL: It is, but like, I wouldn’t do this for anyone. I love how he gets into the lies too.
LE: I really don’t understand what’s going on here with Lover Boy? Like…he’s still thinking Gerard is Katherine’s lover. But now Gerard is just OK with his lady hanging out with a teenage boy? AND Gerard starts doing this thing to kind of court Lover Boy (sorry I forgot his name), like trying to rope him in for some reason.
EL: I think Lover Boy likes Katherine Heigl, and feels bad for Gerard Depardieu, but he’s really just being duped by both of them.
LE: The logic is starting to become so bizarre.
EL: Yeah, all of their tactics are getting muddled. Also, Lover Boy was turned on by her red flags, and now he seems to be turned on by Gerard being an idiot.

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Some other stuff happens. Then Katherine’s life is in danger.

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LE: Oh, yeah, I forgot about this part, there’s gotta be danger. And the both-dad-and-boyfriend-compete moment (when they go out to save her).
ER: Why is Gerard Depardieu the only one to go after her? He’s clearly the oldest and least physically capable.
LE: Well yeah and then he nearly dies. Except NOW somehow Lover Boy understands Gerard=Definitely Her Dad. HOW ARE THERE STILL 20 MORE MINUTES OF THIS MOVIE?

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Gerard hides and feeds lines to Katherine, who appeals to Lover Boy.

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LE: Oh god, now Katherine Heigl needs to win the guy back? This is exhausting.
EL: Also, how long is this vacation?
LE: Here’s what I don’t get about this turn in the plot — how does Gerard Depardieu go from wanting to shelter his daughter to completely giving her away?
EL: He’s also feeding her lines to say to Lover Boy. Is this based off of Cyrano de Bergerac? This movie just got deep.

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And here’s how it ends…basically.

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LE: So, Gerard Depardieu is watching this from afar? This whole thing is creepyville.
ER: Especially because it’s windy, and her skirt keeps flying up and flashing him. I just feel awkward for both of them, because I certainly didn’t tell my father who I wanted to kiss.
LE: No, you don’t talk about your crushes with your dad. No sir. But this is the happy ending I guess? I feel…unsettled and confused.

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All images from My Father The Hero are courtesy of Touchstone Pictures.

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