Written by Jason Franz
First Daughter is a coming of age drama/comedy about Samantha Mackenzie (Katie Holmes), the Presidents daughter, who is eager to start her college/adult life. Directed by Forest Whitaker and based on a story co-written by Jerry O’Connell, I had no idea what I was in for.
The flim starts with a quick montage of Samantha’s childhood growing up with political parents. We’re looped into the story as she heads towards her first year in college, and her first…time away from her family. The President (Michael Keaton) is in the middle of a tough campaign to be re-elected and at the same time deal with his daughters jump to adulthood. A quick witted room mate and troublesome Secret Service agents provide some funny moments and flesh out the first half of the film. It’s not until almost the end, when a surprise twist unfolds, do you really grasp how hard it must be as a child of the leader of the free world. Some great performances and a smart story help make this cute, comedy/drama a real hidden gem on the store shelf.
Standard for a romantic teen comedy, I was expecting the usual front heavy, vocal driven audio track. The music and a few locales woke up the rear channels every once and a while, but for the most part it is a strong dialog driven audio presentation. That being said, it is well done for the genre.
Presented 1.85:1 widescreen (there is also a standard fullscreen version), the picture is soft, with decent contrast. A few scenes were almost too soft, with edges bleeding out and colors fading a bit, but not to the point where it would distract the average viewer. Color for the most part was very good, with decent saturation. The picture was clean and without defects or grain.
We’re given a small sampling of extra features including audio commentaries by Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas and Amerie. Also included, a “Making Of” featurette, a Composer Tribute and some deleted scenes. Very standard stuff considering a special edition is not likely, but enough to add some value to the purchase and shed some background on the films development.
I had no idea what to expect when I put the disc in the player and was pleasantly surprised with the film. The disc had a level of quality that showed the studio had some faith in this picture, when the market was so crowded with similar films. Katie Holmes is wonderful and Michael Keaton is charming as the President. With a few other well rounded performances, First Daughter entertains from beginning to end. Highly recommended to any fans of the genre or cast.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes