Wednesday, November 29, 2017

'I Love You Daddy' will not be released in a theater near you

China (Chloe Grace Moretz) sits on 'Daddy's ( Louis CK)  lap. 
By Moira Sullivan

I Love You Daddy is a film by Louis CK that unless you saw it in Toronto at the festival in September or are traveling to Denmark in January, you probably won’t see it. The film’s popularity has plummeted in a downward spinning spiral since allegations were waged by actresses against Louis CK for sexual harassment and distribution has been scrapped.

There is an ongoing discussion about if it is possible to separate the artist from the art, the filmmaker from the film, as in the case of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, two directors criticized for sexual misconduct. How to enjoy the art, not the artist predator? Is all that art lost, tainted? Ironically, it is Woody Allen, Ronan Farrow's father and Roman Polanski, the director of his mother Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby that have dodged accountability for the questions that are now acutely relevant  Ronan Farrow’s exposé in the New Yorker on November 6, compels us to put the artist in front of the "art", art which in many cases is riddled with obvious themes of sexual harassment and violence.

I Love You Daddy's film style is a refurbished Manhattan, a black and white film set in New York City only the young 17 year old Tracy is not Mariel Hemingway but Chloe Grace Moretz as China. Hemingway has since gone public that Woody Allen tried to seduce her when she was a teenager after making Manhattan.

I Love You Daddy has a cast of strong women that all bow to the award winning character of the film, Glen Topher, played by Louis CK. China, his daughter,  comes to live with him after living with her mother and Glen’s exwife played by Helen Hunt. "Daddy" fails to provide substantial guidance for his daughter, letting her go on vacations after spring break, and eventually to Paris with the 70 year film director Lewis Goodwin who Glen reveres. The well dressed Lewis is played by John Malkovich and is alleged to have molested children.

Glen's comedy writer Ralph (Charlie Day) feigns playing with himself when Glen is about to cast Grace Cullen (Rose Byrne) in his film, regarded as a sex goddess. (Louis CK's specific sexual misconduct reported by five women is evident in Ralph's masturbatory ritual). Glen’s ex-girlfriend played by Pamela Adlon, and his production assistant played by Edie Falco try to whip Glen into a state of moral panic about his sophomoric judgment. All mistakes and improprieties fall on "poor Glen", who is characterized by self-loathing and insecurity, just like Woody Allen's characters in his early films. Glen is propped up by smart, talented women and his daughter China who eventually stops calling him "Daddy" when she grows up, somewhere between the age of 17 and 18 in the film. (The ensemble cast is excellent, especially Grace Moretz in a short shelf life production riddled with recurrent sexual innuendos)

When I Love You Daddy was shown in Toronto,  the news about Louis CK had not broke, but now that it has, here is a clear case of a film where it is impossible to separate the art from the artist. I Love You Daddy will never be released in a theater near you or any time streaming. Its virtue was based on a transparent imitation of Manhattan, but now we know that Woody Allen isn’t really anyone worth imitating.

© 2017 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 11/29/17
Movie Magazine International

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