Film & TV

The Father-Daughter Duo On Screen

Photo by lauren lulu taylor @laurenlulutaylor on Unsplash (Image has been cropped from the original to fit thumbnail)

Hit Girl and Big Daddy from Kick-Ass
Words by Alex Channing

It’s not often that you find an on screen father-daughter duo quite as iconic and unique as the one between Hit Girl and Big Daddy in the 2010 action/comedy film Kick-Ass. In this movie, the father-daughter duo is materialised through the pair being skilled vigilantes, aiming to get revenge on a mafia boss who formerly framed Big Daddy for a heinous crime, resulting in his wife (and Hit Girl’s mum) committing suicide. This has made their relationship exceptionally close, and it is touching to see how they confide in each other and expand their own relationship based off of a painful shared struggle. However, the heartwarming comedy of this particular relationship is how their love and attachment partially exists through a shared enjoyment of rigorous training, combat and action, with Hit Girl being just 13 years old too. Moments such as Big Daddy shooting his daughter in the chest with a bullet-proof vest as a method of training, seamlessly followed by him taking her out for bowling and ice-cream truly make this film unique and special. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new and compelling take on this classic onscreen duo.

Casey and Doug from Atypical
Words by Nicole Rees-Williams

Atypical is a coming of age drama-comedy that follows the life of Sam, a teenager with autism, along with his friends and family. In the foreground, Sam and his relationships take centre stage, but an altogether admirable relationship that is perhaps overlooked is between Sam’s father, Doug and his sister, Casey.

In this clip, we see Casey confiding in her father after her mind is overtaken by the anxieties surrounding her first kiss with a boy. Though Doug does act completely dad-ish, (who is this boy, what does he do, is he good enough for my perfect daughter) it is quite unique to see a daughter confide this kind of information to her father. 

It is evident throughout Atypical that Casey and Doug retain a trusting and healthy relationship. As seen in the clip provided, Casey refers to Doug as her ‘go-to.’ For a young girl to confide in an older man and not get patronised or lectured is particularly rare, especially in the case of fathers and how they are usually presented in TV and Film. 

Fathers hold a certain image of their daughter up until adulthood, this image being that their daughter will always be their ‘little-girl,’ and due to this unhealthy ideal that girls shouldn’t grow up whilst boys are often encouraged to, it can create a strain on the father-daughter relationship.

Though Doug is evidently nervous about Casey’s progression into a relationship, he is ultimately accepting of Casey as a growing individual throughout the series, and their relationship flourishes because of this trust.

Being a part of a family with someone who has a developmental disability such as autism has its challenges, and although it is understandable to an extent, the other child’s needs and worries often come in at a lower priority. Throughout the series it is obvious that Elsa, the mother, is so concerned with Sam that Casey often gets pushed aside. Doug and Casey, however, have a delightful relationship that is heart-warming to view. 

Cooper and Murph from Interstellar
Words by Zoe Williamson

This may not be your typical father-daughter on screen duo because it is primarily a science fiction movie. However, I believe that Interstellar delivers an equally heart-warming portrayal of this relationship that is often presented in alternative genres. Behind all the action-packed sequences is the depiction of a lifelong bond and Murph looks up to her father massively, wanting to be just like him when she grows up. 

This fatherly love is focused upon closely at the beginning of the film, with many scenes being centred upon Murph’s desire to be involved in his work. Yet, when confronted with a life-changing decision, Cooper needs to leave Earth to find a new planet for humanity. This means that the two characters are separated for nearly the entirety of the film, moving away from conventional narrative structures. However, it is this that makes their father-daughter bond so special. 

Despite Murph resenting her father’s decision, their connection is extremely prevalent throughout, and we follow how her father’s influence and teaching from when she was a child stays with her during her whole adult life. Their binding connection also plays an important role in the progression of the film and this showcases the deep emotional bond that Cooper and Murph have, one that is not categorised by distance.