The arrival of "My Father, the Hero" (citywide) begs the question: Why does Hollywood persist in remaking French sex comedies? Most of the originals--including "The Tall Blonde Man With One Black Shoe" and "Les Fugitifs," remade as "Three Fugitives"--weren't all that sexy or funny to begin with. And with the exception of "Three Men and a Little Lady," none of these remakes, which also include "The Toy," "Blame It on Rio," "Partners" and "Buddy Buddy," has been a smash hit. Or sexy. Or funny.
"My Father, the Hero," remade from a French comedy virtually unseen in this country, at least has Gerard Depardieu in the cast, which gives it a pedigree. Depardieu, who has appeared in every French film for the past 20 years, give or take a few, makes his third appearance in a Hollywood movie. (The first two were "Green Card" and "1492: Conquest of Paradise.") It's enjoyable watching Depardieu wrap his mouth around the English language; he seems to enjoy it as much as we do. Less enjoyable is watching Depardieu (or, in long shot, his stunt double) water skiing and wallowing through treacherous shoals. (A friend said he reminded her of Shamu.)
Depardieu may be fun to watch but he's not enough reason to see the movie. The plot is one of those ooo-la-la jobs that was probably pretty smarmy even in the original (except the French can get away with these things better than we can). It's about what happens when Andre (Depardieu), an errant, divorced dad, takes his 14-year-old daughter, Nicole (Katherine Heigl), to a Bahamas resort for a quality-time vacation.