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The film stars CK as a TV producer-slash-single dad who doesn’t know what to do when his teenage daughter (played by Chloe Grace Moretz) starts “hanging around a revered art-film director who’s been dogged for years with unresolved accusations of pedophilia and rape” (John Malkovich). The tension appears to be that on the one hand, their relationship might help CK’s career, and on the other hand, sexual assault.
Sexual harassment allegations have swirled around CK for years in real life—most recently by his collaborator Tig Notaro, who dedicated one episode of her Amazon series One Mississippi to a plot about a boss masturbating under a desk while her girlfriend was sitting across from him. CK has remained uncharacteristically quiet about the allegations in the media, so reviewers can’t help but puzzle over his choice in subject matter. Slate‘s Sam Adams called the movie “Louis CK’s answer to Manhattan, addressing both Woody Allen’s controversies and his own.”
Like Allen’s Manhattan, I Love You, Daddy is also shot in black and white and takes a comedic look at a questionable intergenerational relationship. But as Jezebel points out, you can’t really tell from the trailer what this movie’s position on Hollywood sexual exploitation might be. It seems to veer “quickly into homage territory” with all of the Allen stuff, and then… not leave.
Could the vagueness be a marketing tactic to drum up conversation about the movie? Bleak, but maybe! In a week where celebrities have been banding together to combat sexism and gender violence in their industry, though, the trailer seems tone-deaf no matter what.
I Love You, Daddy is set to hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 17, before expanding nationwide Dec. 1.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.