'I'm disturbed and distressed.' Can we discuss the Katherine Heigl movie where she dates her dad?

Every so often, an old movie is dug up that seems so tone-deaf, so offensive, so straight-up wrong, that it makes you question everything you've ever known to be true in your life.

For me, that movie is My Father, The Hero.  

I mean with a title like that, you've already lost me.

The 1994 movie was a remake of a French film of the same name. It starred a teenaged Katherine Heigl in one of her first roles – long before Grey's Anatomy – but the big star of the movie at the time was Gérard Depardieu.

If you haven't thought about Gérard Depardieu in 20 years then you are a normal human person.

The French actor was one of the most prolific screen actors from the '60s until the late '90s, starring in a mammoth 250 films throughout his career. In recent years, Depardieu has been embroiled in a slew of controversies and serious sexual assault allegations, so we'll leave any more talk of the actor there.

We are here to (OF COURSE!) talk exclusively about My Father, The Hero

In the movie, a 14-year-old Heigl plays Depardieu's daughter, Nicole. The father/daughter duo go on a vacation to the Bahamas to reconnect and while there, Nicole develops a crush on a lifeguard, Ben. 

Nothing to see here! What a wholesome tale of first love on a tropical island! 


She pretends to date her dad, André, to make lifeguard Ben jealous.

Yep, this teen girl acts like she's in a romantic relationship with 50-year-old Depardieu... a man who is supposed to be her father. 


I am disturbed. I am distressed. I am pushed over the edge. 

Watch the trailer for the movie here. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube. 

Weirdly enough, this movie isn't new to me. In fact, I watched it many times growing up. 

I watched it with my family. I watched it as a wholesome comedy suitable for children. I watched it without screaming into my mum's nearby decorative pillow. 

But I did repress the film's existence entirely until it stared me square in the face as I was mindlessly scrolling Instagram the other night.

Those were more innocent times. I miss them. 

Rob Anderson is known for posting hilarious recaps of deeply cursed '90s movies and TV shows on Instagram and TikTok, and in his latest clip, he sadly reminded us all of My Father, The Hero.

"This whole movie is a laugh riot about the entire island thinking he's doing his daughter," Rob joked.


The TikTokker recapped one particularly disturbing moment. "There's this scene where they one up each other. She sees him dancing with a girl so she dances with her man [her father]." 

Rob then played a scene where Gerard's character sings a song featuring the lyrics, "Thank heaven for little girls." 

This actually happened. 

"Everyone is like, 'Oh brother, who let the paedo on the keys,'" Rob snaps. 


Anyways back to this sick-in-the-head movie, Ben notices that André acts more paternal than most romantic partners. 

So how on earth does she explain what's happening to her crush? Why does her boyfriend who is actually her father act like her father when he's supposed to be her boyfriend?


She tells Ben that he merely pretends to be her father, and they stay in separate hotel rooms so their age difference doesn't look weird. 

Image: Disney Plus. 

Yep, that's the weird part.

It gets worse.

She tells Ben that as she's actually 16 (not really, she's 14), they keep up the father/daughter act to avoid being charged under "stupid laws and stuff".

Ahh yes, those pesky laws to protect victims of statutory rape.


Image: Disney Plus. 

Anyways, Ben buys it. He's all good with this explanation. Carry on, Nicole! Date your dad! Go nuts! 

In another moment at the beach, as the rest of the holiday-makers become creeped out by André, he's chased away when he approaches a young child.

"I know what you were doing!" a concerned parent shouts.

The whole film hinges on the 'joke' that this man is a suspected paedophile.

But it's actually fine because he's just a silly old man with a kooky French accent who falls down funny when water-skiiing. 


When Nicole finally tells André about her plot to make Ben jealous, he's weirdly... chill about it. In fact, he GOES ALONG WITH IT. 

The movie ends with the jig well and truly being up when Nicole shouts 'Daddy, daddy!' when André is non-responsive after almost drowning. 

She then whispers in his ear in French – and he's revived.

The more I write about this movie, the more I'm convinced I hallucinated it all as a child. 

I wish. 

But don't worry, Katherine Heigl also knows this film was really weird.

In a 2016 interview on The Howard Stern Show, the actress spoke about how it couldn't be made today. 

"That would never fly now," she said. "I watched it recently with my 14-year-old niece, and I was like, 'This is really inappropriate!'"

The Firefly Lane actor also called attention to the age difference between herself and the actor who played Ben, who she had to kiss in a scene. "He, at the time, was 22 I think and I was literally 14," she admitted. 

"It was one of my first kisses... It's very strange in retrospect." 

Strange is one word for it.

If you're still curious and want to spend 90 minutes with your jaw setting up camp on the floor, then My Father, The Hero can be streamed on Disney Plus.

Feature image: Disney Plus + Instagram/@heartthrobanderson.

It can be tricky raising little humans and that’s why we want to hear from all parents in this short survey. Take our survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!