“Sunday Morning” film critic David Edelstein on a film you probably won’t see:
With the revelation by The New York Times of Louis C.K.’s long-rumored repulsive behavior towards women, it’s unlikely you’ll see his feature film directorial debut, “I Love You, Daddy,” in theaters anytime soon.
Which is just: He’ll pay a high price for what he did.
To watch a trailer for “I Love You, Daddy,” click on the video player below:
I liked the movie, though, and not just as a comedy about a man and a daughter he can’t control. It also gives you all kinds of insights into Louis’s self-hatred, fear of women, and creepy conceptions of sex. There’s enough in it for a whole psychiatric conference.
Here are the main points: That heartwarming title? It’s actually ironic. It’s meant to signify his character’s humiliating impotence. He plays Glen Topher, a TV writer and producer whose immense success seems to go hand-in-hand with incessant failure. “I love you, Daddy” is what his 17-year-old daughter, China (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), says whenever she pries everything she wants from him and flits away.
Throughout the film, his character is rebuked or manipulated by one woman after another. He is pitiful. He is impotent.
Now, it’s a valid question (for that psychiatric conference, maybe) whether C.K’s feelings of powerlessness over women — which seem so lovably self-deprecating here and on his TV series — are actually the source of his more hostile, aggressive behavior in life.
He doesn’t leave that type of behavior out of the film. He merely assigns it to another character, who in one scene noisily mimes masturbation in front of Edie Falco’s disgusted, but silent executive. If C.K. had his own character — his own put-upon, harassed rebuked character — doing that as a source of revenge, the movie would have been more honest.
So where are we now? Without “I Love You, Daddy,” probably — and lots more.
Look, it’s no hardship to boycott the junky films of alleged harasser Bret Ratner. And the world will be better with Harvey Weinstein waaaay out of sight.
But we will be poorer without Louis C.K.
Maybe one day he’ll perform something that helps us fathom his sickness — and, in understanding it, be better at stopping it, or helping the victims.
Right now, though, we should reserve our sympathy for those victims, and waste no time before dynamiting whatever so-called “norms” have prevented women — and, in some cases, boys — from crying, “Enough!”
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