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.
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.
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.
EL: Why do all teenage girls hate their fathers?
LE: I don’t know, I mean I think I know. I was one. God.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
EL: Are they both wearing white see-through swimsuits?
LE: Mmm hmm. It means they were meant to be together.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
EL: And this is such a beautiful father-daughter moment, and it’s totally ruined because she’s destroyed everything.
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.
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.
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?
EL: I REALLY JUST DON’T KNOW.
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.
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.
All images from My Father The Hero are courtesy of Touchstone Pictures.
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