Replacing Dad (1999) Mary McDonnell, William Russ, Jack Coleman, Erik von Detten, Camilla Belle, Tippi Hedren Movie Review

Replacing Dad (1999)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Mary McDonnell in Replacing Dad (1999)

Finding a New Dad

Linda Marsh (Mary McDonnell - Behind the Mask) was so happy with her life, she had married George (William Russ - Have You Seen My Son), her high school sweetheart, they had three children and he had a good job as school principal. That is until on their anniversary she decides to surprise him by showing up at his office only to find him canoodling with one of the teachers. With the eldest children angry with their father he leaves and moves in with the teacher he was having an affair with whilst Linda starts going out with friends to bars to try and get over things. When one day her eldest son is involved in a car accident Linda meets Dr. Mark Chandler (Jack Coleman - Time Under Fire) who, with her mother, Dixie's (Tippi Hedren - Treacherous Beauties), encouragement, she starts dating. Meanwhile George realises that his new life is not that great and when his girlfriend leaves has to deal with the fact that Linda doesn't want him back.

"Replacing Dad" certainly has some things going for it, especially the cast which includes Mary McDonnell and Tippi Hedren. But the end result is ordinary because it ends up just another made for TV movie where a wife has to start a new after her husband was unfaithful. It is such a sadly familiar storyline that in all honesty I doubt that anybody could use it in a new movie and make it feel fresh and original. As such from the minute Linda decides to tackle life full on you can predict the majority of the ups and downs she will face be it being naive about work or dealing with dating again.

Tippi Hedren in Replacing Dad (1999)

The up shot of this is that "Replacing Dad" relies on two things to try and make it entertaining; the humour and the actors. Now unfortunately the humour in "Replacing Dad" just didn't do it from me as from Linda discovering she couldn't even get a job at the county dump to her young son wearing a rabbit costume all the time it barely made me smile. Maybe this comedy, which isn't quite oddball but definitely not regular, will be your thing but it is a case that if you enjoy simple humour it will often feel like it is misfiring. Although having said that, William Russ with a curly mullet is one of the movies funnier moments.

What that means is that "Replacing Dad" ends up having one thing which really works; the acting, with Mary McDonnell doing an entertaining job of playing the newly single mum. It is what I call an old school performance from McDonnell which has a touch of the Doris Day about it as she brings the humour out from feeling harassed. Plus there is William Russ who if you have seen Russ in any other movie or TV show basically plays to type which surprisingly is enough to make you smile. And of course there is Tippi Hedren who whilst cast as Mary McDonnell's mother plays it much younger and is entertaining in doing so.

What this all boils down to is that "Replacing Dad" is just one of those movies that if you stumble across might be mildly entertaining. But because of its familiarity I doubt you would feel a need to go out of your way to watch it again, well until you have forgotten what goes on in it and then you might.