Here’s a new trailer with some interesting, perhaps unfortunate timing—our first look at the Louis C.K.-directed and written film I Love You, Daddy. The black-and-white dramedy stars Louis C.K. as a successful TV writer-producer who is struggling to produce a feature film while also attempting to keep his young daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) away from a lecherous old director played by John Malkovich.
Obviously, the film’s plot can scarcely be seen without a parallel to the ongoing sexual harassment/assault story centered around Harvey (and now Bob ) Weinstein, both of whom have been accused of wrongdoing in recent months. Malkovich’s character is a director rather than a producer, but it’s sure to be uncomfortable for some audience members to see this guy, portrayed as 68 years old, to use his position of power to entice Chloe Grace Moretz, portrayed in the film as 17.
Of course, given that Louis C.K. seems to be emulating Woody Allen here, that’s almost to be expected. From the black-and-white composition to the story itself, I Love You, Daddy seems to be evoking Allen films (especially 1979’s Manhattan) almost to the point of parody. Consider this: Louis C.K. is the writer/director portraying a neurotic writer protagonist, set to a jazzy throwback soundtrack, and centered around a relationship between a senior citizen man and a much younger woman. Hell, C.K. even appears to be wearing Woody Allen-esque glasses in this film. It’s almost a wonder his character isn’t dating Moretz.
Also complicating matters are the murky rumors of sexual wrongdoing that have plagued C.K. himself for the last few years, although no concrete accusations have emerged. But the persistent rumors have caused definite rifts, the most well-publicized of which was between C.K. and comedian Tig Notaro. Speaking with The Daily Beast in August, she distanced herself from C.K., credited as a producer on her Amazon series One Mississippi, and cryptically said that he should “take care of” and “handle” the veiled accusations against him, whatever that means. The full quote:
“I think it’s important to take care of that, to handle that, because it’s serious to be assaulted,” Notaro told The Daily Beast. “It’s serious to be harassed. It’s serious, it’s serious, it’s serious.”
Serious indeed, but what remains to be seen is how seriously Louis C.K. is taking these comments. Watching the trailer above, actress Ebonee Noel’s joke at the very end almost seems to be the kind of comment that would justify “bad behavior.” As she says: “I mean, everybody’s a pervert. I’m a pervert; we’re all perverts. Who cares?”
All well and good, except for the fact that these are Louis C.K.’s words, coming from the mouth of a black woman, which is presumably meant to give them more social justice cache. How the rest of the world will react to I Love You, Daddy is still a much more open-ended question.