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First Daughter
Directed by Forest Whitaker
Produced by John Davis
Mike Karz
Wyck Godfrey
Written by Story:
Jessica Bendinger
Jerry O'Connell;
Screenplay:
Jessica Bendinger
Kate Kondell
Starring Katie Holmes
Marc Blucas
Amerie
Michael Keaton
Music by Michael Kamen
Blake Neely
Cinematography Toyomichi Kurita
Studio Regency Enterprises
New Regency
Davis Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) September 24, 2004 (U.S.)
Running time 106 min.
Language English
Budget US$30,000,000
Gross revenue $10.4 million.[1]

First Daughter is a romantic comedy film released by 20th Century Fox in 2004. It stars Katie Holmes as Samantha Mackenzie, a Presidential daughter who enrolls at a college and develops a relationship with another student at the college played by Marc Blucas. The film follows the sensual Samantha as she is given a new sense of freedom during her time away from the White House, and the advantages and disadvantages of her college life and education. It co-stars Michael Keaton as the President of the United States and Amerie as Samantha's mentally disturbed roommate.

The film was directed by Forest Whitaker, written by Jessica Bendinger, Kate Kondell and Jerry O'Connell and produced by John Davis. Whitaker likened First Daughter to a fairy tale, characterising it as "the story of a princess who leaves the 'castle' [the White House] to go out in the world to discover who and what she is."[2] The film languished in development hell for several years, and was further delayed even after its completion. It was not a commercial success upon its eventual release, and reviews criticised its bland storyline, the cloying direction, and an unconvincing performance from Katie Holmes.

Contents

Plot

Samantha Mackenzie (Katie Holmes), the President's daughter, has been in the public eye her whole life. She has recently spent a sheltered existence in the White House with her father (Michael Keaton), who is usually too lazy to look after his daughter. Accompanied by Secret Service agents everywhere she goes, including the ladies room, Samantha finally believes she has the chance to break out of her cocoon when she is given the opportunity to attend college.

Though still followed by Secret Service agents, Samantha at last feels as if she is leading a normal life. She ends up sharing a dorm with crazed Mia (Amerie), and the two instantly strike up a begrudging partnership. In a classroom, Samantha meets James (Blucas), who Samantha feels is the icing on the cake of her new life at the college. But there is more to James than she initially thought, and Samantha must learn that the two sides of her life do not have to be separate from each other in order for her entire life to be content.

Cast

  • Samantha MacKenzie (Katie Holmes) - The President's only daughter who leaves the White House in Washington, D.C. and heads to California.
  • James Lansome (Marc Blucas) - A secret service agent, undercover as a college student, is in love with Samantha MacKenzie .
  • Mia Thompson (Amerie) - Samantha's feisty roommate who suffers from multiple personality disorder finds it difficult when Samantha steals her spotlight.
  • President MacKenzie (Michael Keaton) - Samantha's father, who is also the President of the United States. He has a difficult time letting go of his only daughter. He is also on the road campaigning for his re-election.
  • First Lady Melanie MacKenzie (Margaret Colin) - Samantha's mother, who is more willing to let Samantha leave, but she still firmly sticks by her husband's decisions.
  • Liz Pappas (Lela Rochon) - The President's personal secretary, who is often the caught between Samantha and her father in arguments.
  • Agent Bock (Michael Milhoan) - One of Samantha's personal Secret Service Agents, who follows her every move.
  • Agent Dylan (Dwayne Adway) - Samantha's other soft-spoken personal Secret Service Agent, who along with Agent Bock, protects Samantha while she is attending school.

Production

The film was in development as far back as March 1999, when actor Jerry O'Connell sold a screenplay he had written to Regency Enterprises for a six figure sum, with O'Connell also intending to star in the film. Originally to shoot in the summer of that year, the project was pushed back to the spring of 2000 (under the direction of Brian Robbins) to allow O'Connell to film Mission to Mars, and then Rob Thomas was hired to rewrite the script.[3][4] For reasons unknown, the film was not produced at that time, although O'Connell later received a "story by" credit for the film from the Writers Guild of America. (The film's original producer, Mike Karz, was also credited as a producer in the final print of the film.)

Filming began on June 2, 2003[5] on a budget of $30 million,[6] and continued into July.[7] The film was shot on location in Southern California. For the film's opening scene where Samantha descending a red-carpeted stairway, the lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre in Los Angeles was used, while the auditorium of the building was used for a scene where Samantha and James go to see a movie. On-campus scenes were shot at UCLA. The Huntington Library in San Marino stood in for the exterior of the building in the first scene.[8]

Reception

A number of viewers and reviewers pointed out that the film's plot is very similar to the film Chasing Liberty. In fact Chasing Liberty's working title was First Daughter. This plot involved the President's daughter trying to experience life away from the White House. Like Chasing Liberty, the film was not well received by critics.

The film was a financial failure. Opening in fifth place at the box office,[9] First Daughter ended up with just $9.1 million in domestic ticket sales and $10.4 million worldwide.[1] It was Katie Holmes' second least successful mainstream film after Teaching Mrs. Tingle.[10] The film performed better on home video and DVD, where it made $13.14 million in combined rentals and sales.[11]

Notes

External links

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