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Attributes of a Good Father in “My First Mister”

Adolescence is a tricky time for fathers and daughters. The film My First Mister (2001) presents some ideas of how to skillfully traverse this territory. Jennifer (Leelee Sobieski), who goes by the name of “J”, has just graduated from high school. She self-mutilates, is a “goth,” and is alone, lonely and nihilistic. Her parents are divorced. Her mother (Carol Kane) is Pollyanna-ish; the mother and daughter are polar opposites who can’t relate. Her father (John Goodman) is a pothead with whom she has very little contact.

2 thoughts on “Attributes of a Good Father in “My First Mister”

  • July 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Wonderful and very moving piece, Marla. I haven’t yet seen this movie but I’m putting it on my list.

    I wonder if, as a culture, we’ve engaged in mass repression concerning the Oedipus complex and incestuous desires. No one is more vilified than the father who breaches the incest taboo with a child; maybe it might happen less often if we were able to accept that sexual attraction between parent and child isn’t unusual and to discuss how to cope with it.

  • July 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Joe. Thanks for voicing this.


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