Its now early fall and First Daughter starring "Dawsons Creek" alum Katie Holmes in the title role has failed to live up to its positive campaign. The film, which opened Sept. 24, is not really better than Chasing Liberty, and not really worse. While some of the costumes are fun to look at including two of Holmess gorgeous custom-made Vera Wang gowns and the two leads (the other being "Buffys" Marc Blucas) have some decent onscreen chemistry, First Daughter isnt a superior film. Its not even that smart of a romantic comedy. Instead, its just a ho-hum piece of shallow fluff with a farfetched storyline, and a plot that doesnt allow the characters enough time to develop a believable relationship.
In the film, first daughter Samantha Mackenzie (Holmes) is 18 years old and college-bound. Shes lived her entire life in a sheltered bubble, smiling endlessly for interviews and having her every awkward move scrutinized by the press. She knows nothing of normalcy outside her privileged life, so all she really yearns for is a chance to "blend in" and be appreciated for who she is. And although she arrives at fictional Redmond University via presidential motorcade and an entourage of secret service agents, her simple dream of fitting in takes shape in the form of handsome coed James (Marc Blucas), who ends up falling head over heels for the "real" Samantha. Things come to a halt, though, when Sam much to her dismay realizes that James is really an undercover secret service agent under her fathers employ.
Even though it lacks in development and originality, First Daughter is a smart starring vehicle for Holmes, who will be able to carry the strong "Dawsons" following into theaters with this film. Even so, Whitaker who also helmed Hope Floats and Waiting to Exhale should have held out for something a bit less flat and tired.