As the US president, Michael Keaton warns his teenage daughter that she's the subject of "at least a dozen death threats every day". After seeing First Daughter, you'll understand why. Katie Holmes opens herself up for attack by starring in this moronically mushy, stupendously trite coming-of-age yarn about "trying to fit in" and "being yourself". Director Forest Whitaker has created a movie that's more scattered than Democrats in Ohio.
Like any father seeing his daughter off to college, President Mackenzie (Michael Keaton) is worried, but with Samantha's (Katie Holmes) every misstep making front-page news, his campaign for re-election is also at stake. He needn't worry though, because it turns out her idea of rebellion is eating popcorn and chocolate mixed together. Of course it's not the scandalous mixing of confectionary that grabs national headlines, but her romance with fellow student James (Marc Blucas).
The two seem to be brought together by a shared sense of the profoundly inane, with Samantha constantly banging on about "wanting normal", while James announces his great ambition is to "stand on the sidelines of history". This stunning lack of inspiration is reflected in a script that continually hints at how teenagers have become disenchanted with politics without ever following it up. It wouldn't matter much except as a comedy, the laughs are unintentional and the love story is just plain risible. Still, when all Whitaker does is rub together a couple of soggy cardboard cut-outs, it's no wonder sparks don't fly. First Daughter wishes it were second-rate.