First Daughter

September 24th, 2004


First Daughter

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Still of Michael Keaton, Katie Holmes and Margaret Colin in First DaughterThe First Daughter, Samantha, (Katie Holmes) enjoys a romantic evening with new boyfriend James (Marc Blucas).College students James (Marc Blucas) and Samantha, the nationÕs First Daughter (Katie Holmes) find themselves falling for each other.Katie Holmes and director Forest Whitaker discuss a scene on the set of FIRST DAUGHTER.Samantha (Katie Holmes) and college beau James (Marc Blucas) enjoy a rare quiet moment.Samantha's (Katie Holmes) omnipresent Secret Service detail (Dwayne Adway, left and Michael Milhoan)  never lets her forget that she's the First Daughter of the U.S.

The first daughter of the U.S. President heads off to college where she falls for a graduate student with a secret agenda.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 4.7/10 (8,649 voted)

Critic's Score: 31/100

Director: Forest Whitaker

Stars: Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas, Michael Keaton

The daughter of the President of the United States goes off to college after insisting that she be able to enjoy her school years without the omnipresence of the Secret Service. The government agrees to her demands but assigns a young agent to go undercover as a student in order to keep an eye on her. The first daughter and the agent fall in love, until she learns his true identity.

Writers: Jessica Bendinger, Jerry O'Connell

Katie Holmes - Samantha Mackenzie
Marc Blucas - James Lansome
Ameriie - Mia Thompson (as Amerie)
Michael Keaton - President Mackenzie
Margaret Colin - Melanie Mackenzie
Lela Rochon - Liz Pappas (as Lela Rochon Fuqua)
Michael Milhoan - Agent Bock
Dwayne Adway - Agent Dylan
Hollis Hill - Agent Colvin
Ken Moreno - Agent Mercer
Andrew Caple-Shaw - Agent Dryer
Alex Avant - Shift Leader
Barry Livingston - Press Secretary
Piper Cochrane - Communications Director
Adam Donshik - First Lady's Chief of Staff

Taglines: The girl who always stood out is finally getting the chance to fit in.


Official Website: 20th Century Fox [United States] |

Release Date: 24 September 2004

Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $4,002,067 (USA) (26 September 2004) (2260 Screens)

Gross: $9,055,010 (USA) (28 November 2004)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Argentina:

Did You Know?

The release date for the film was pushed back after the similarly themed Chasing Liberty flopped at the box office.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Samantha takes Mia and James to the dance, right after President Mackenzie says he wants to dance with his wife, the band starts playing. The trumpets are heard to be playing with Harmon mutes, however, the trumpets sitting on stage have no mutes in.

English Professor: At the end of the day the prince is, is what?
Samantha Mackenzie: Just a prince.

User Review

It's not that bad; it's just not that good

Rating: 5/10

Frankly, First Daughter is not the train wreck the critics are saying it is; it's not like it was The Stepford Wives or anything.

First Daughter follows the travails of one Samantha Mackenzie (Holmes) as she breaks away from her dad (Michael Keaton) and starts college. Okay, it's not especially deep, and yes, it probably is similar to Mandy Moore's Chasing Liberty, which was released at the top end of this year and was by all accounts a stinker (I didn't see it so I can't say). We see Sam get in some fairly predictable situations; she's hounded by her Secret Service guys; she has a cheeky black roommate (Amarie Rogers) who takes a while to warm up to her; and she has trouble relating to guys until she meets James Lansome (Marc Blucas), who just lets her be her, blah blah blah. It's a little thin, yeah, and the whole fairy-tale narration done at the beginning (by director Forest Whittaker himself) is treacly, period.

But at least everyone gives it an honest stab. Keaton in particular seems to be enjoying himself as an embattled president (we could have used a little more of that, frankly) who cares about his daughter but is caught up in re-election blues. Rogers is a whole lot less annoying than I thought she would be, and her character Mia has a twist that I actually enjoyed. Blucas I find to be a terribly underrated actor; he's been good in a number of otherwise unremarkable productions, but he's solid, charismatic, and fun to watch. All of those traits serve him well here and he has good chemistry with Holmes, which you can't say about most of her big-screen beaus.

And Katie, who has to carry the film? Well, she's not really given a chance to shine. She gets a few scenes of real acting, but mostly this is lightweight stuff for her (after her performance in Pieces of April there can be little doubt she has the goods); aside from some pleasant chemistry and one or two scenes where she gets to be a little weepy, there's not a lot here for her to do but look princessy and gaze wide-eyed at a lot of things. One scene, an argument with Mia, could have really benefited from a little more heat. Katie can do anger pretty well (so would you if you had to work with James Van Der Beek for six years), and it's a shame she never gets to open up the throttle here and show off. I suspect that was Whittaker's decision, but more than once he passes on the opportunity to utilize the strengths of his lead.

First Daughter isn't a particularly memorable film, but it's not all that bad either. It's a light piece of fluff that only waxes saccharine in a few scenes, and actually has a few good moments (when Blucas reveals that he's a Secret Service agent, both he and Holmes pull it off excellently). It's by a long shot not the worst film of the year (or even the season; it's far less annoying than Resident Evil). In fact, it's a great deal like Sky Captain; a really pretty wrapping around a mostly empty box.


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