SXSW 2022: I Love My Dad

Directed by: James Morosini
Distributed by: TBA

Written by Alexander Reams


Patton Oswalt’s humor has always bordered on nihilistic, that’s one of the biggest reasons that his humor has always resonated with me, it always seems hopeless but in the best way. And in James Morosini’s sophomore effort “I Love My Dad”, he tempers this with a level of emotion that he has only shown glimpses of in his standup specials. Morosini also takes a note from other (very successful) father/son stories, making the premise simple. It also helps that he also wrote the film, and here created a very relevant story, but also one that could very well happen. Patton Oswalt’s Chuck has been cut out of his son, Franklin’s (Writer/Director James Morosini), life, blocked on every social media account, he blocked Chuck’s number, and the reason for this is very obvious within the first 10 minutes- Chuck is obsessed with his son, he can’t fathom being out of his son’s life. There’s only one small hangup- Franklin just got out of a stay at a mental facility and is now easing back into society. Already Morosini is lining the film up to be one big punchline, at least it looks that way.

Chuck’s solution to this predicament? Make a fake online account of a waitress, Becca (Claudia Sulewski), that Chuck met in a diner and catfish his son. Chuck’s plan, while wildly messed up, goes mostly according to plan, until Franklin begins to like Becca, without ever meeting her. From this point Morosini’s sophomore film flies without skipping a beat, mixing humor with the uncomfortable reality of Chuck’s hole that he has dug. And the hole keeps digging to the point that I was squirming at the lengths Chuck goes to connect with his son. It’s not affection, but more of a study of a father who crosses the line and tries to keep in his son’s life when his son doesn’t want him in it. Morosini has evoked a surprising amount of emotional depth that makes this a twisted yet sweet film that manages to be a cautionary tale of who you meet online.

“I Love My Dad” was screened at the 2022 edition of SXSW.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.