The portrait of a father-daughter relationship can be painted with many colors and strokes. Some moments can be joyful and unforgettable, while others can be melancholic and somber. Charlotte Wells’ directorial and feature debut Aftersun is a reflection of Calum and Sophie’s relationship amidst unemployment, puberty and drowning mental health. The film shows the father-daughter relationship in all its glory during a vacation.
Years later, after becoming estranged from her father, Sophie recalls the good times she had with him. She reflects on their shared memories and tries to fill in the blanks to paint a complete picture. Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio play the lead roles of Calum and Sophie in the drama film. If you want to see movies that revolve around the topic of fatherhood and the problems it brings, then the following suggestions are for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to Aftersun on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. Jersey Girl (2004)
Written and directed by Kevin Smith, this comedy-drama follows Ollie as he struggles to care for his daughter while managing his career and professional life. After the death of her mother, Maya lives with her father. Years after her birth, we witness Ollie lead a decrepit life with no room for his dreams. The challenges of being a single parent are well portrayed in Jersey Girl. Without anyone else in their lives, Ollie and Maya depend on each other and find happiness within themselves. This aspect is similar to Calum and Sophie’s relationship in Aftersun.
7. A Little Inside (1999)
Ed Millis struggles to achieve his dream of playing baseball while raising his daughter alone. Written and directed by Kara Harshbarger, the film stars Hallie Eisenberg and Benjamin King. As a single parent, Ed must balance his career and dreams with responsibility for his daughter. The film shares many similar aspects to other father daughter films on this list. The charming family film appeals to every viewer as they see a little bit of themselves and their family in the film. Like Aftersun, this film also shows the closeness and bond between father and daughter.
6. Leave No Trace (2018)
Based on Peter Rock’s novel My Abandonment, Leave No Trace is an adventure drama centered on Will and Tom. They live withdrawn from society in a city park. Directed by Debra Granik, the film explores the delicate relationship between a father and daughter, ideally living together. Initially, the two’s competing interests cause a rift between father and daughter, but by the end of the film, Will has come to terms with the fact that his daughter deserves to live the life she wants. Like Aftersun, this film portrays a father-daughter relationship with all its complications and joys.
5. The Father (2020)
The film focuses on the relationship between father and daughter when the father is diagnosed with dementia. Even the strongest family ties can become difficult when the wits fail, and Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins deliver wonderful, career-tested performances while dealing with the pressure. Directed by Florian Zeller, the film is an intriguing portrayal of dementia told from the father’s point of view, who keeps reeling and breaking up.
It offers much more than the typical film about a cruel disease. But the focus is on the conflict-ridden relationship between father and daughter. Like Aftersun, this drama delves deeper into the father-daughter relationship, with all its ups and downs.
4. Terms of End (1983)
Directed by James L. Brooks, the comedy-drama follows Aurora’s search for love. Meanwhile, her daughter is struggling with problems in her marriage. The duo team up to help each other navigate the chaos in their lives. Terms of Endearment shows a very important point in a parent-child relationship where they become more friends than dependents. Also, Aurora and Emma have a connection that allows them to find happiness in life. Just like Calum and Sophie, Aurora and Emma have a great bond that allows them to speak and live freely.
3. This Boy’s Life (1993)
Based on the true story of Tobias Wolff, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Toby, who moves to the small Washington town of Concrete with his mother (Ellen Barkin) after her marriage to Dwight (Robert De Niro). Left alone, mother and son quickly discover that Dwight is hostile to them, but when the mother doesn’t want to leave, Toby must deal with it and find a long-term solution.
So the subtle nuances and intricacies of an abusive step-relationship are adequately portrayed in this film drama. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones, the film navigates both perspectives and resembles the combat depicted in Aftersun.
2. Fathers and Daughters (2015)
Gabriele Muccino’s drama centers on Jake, a father grieving after the death of his wife and caring for his young daughter. Katie, the daughter, joins her life with her father’s to see what she is dealing with in her adult life. With a 27-year window between the two concurrent stories, the film aptly bridges the struggles of father and daughter. He lets viewers see how every tiny aspect of a parent’s life affects the child’s perspective. Additionally, due to struggles, both Sophie and Katie are forced to grow up ahead of their time and face the issues plaguing their fathers.
1. Somewhere (2010)
In Somewhere, Johnny is a desperate actor residing in the exclusive Chateau Marmont looking for meaning in his life. While he is away from Recovering from an injury, Johnny is visited by his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (Elle Fanning), who now lives with her father on the artists’ commune. Though the father is retiring and doesn’t seem up to the responsibilities, it seems Cleo is raising them both.
Johnny and Cleo are almost strangers at first and gradually get to know each other. They soon develop a sensitive connection that doesn’t fit the traditional father-daughter dynamic, but one that seems to work for them. This clever comedy shows that director Sofia Coppola is a master of the quiet relationship film. Also, the situation and course of the father-daughter relationship in Somewhere and Aftersun are very similar.