by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
Provider. Breadwinner. Jack-of-all-trades. These days, dads are so much more than these singular identities suggest. But the definition of “father figure” truly hits another level in the film “Daddy Issues,” available for download on April 19.
A quick synopsis: When queer pixie Maya (Madison Lawlor) falls for social media starlet Jasmine (Montana Manning), her life is about to change in profound, unexpected ways. But little does Maya, who would do anything to escape her miserable, suburban upbringing, know that her Insta-crush has a secret: an illicit, ongoing love affair with a guy she calls Daddy (Andrew Pifko) who pays her bills but keeps her tied down (in more ways than one).
“Daddy Issues” isn’t the kind of Netflix flick you’d watch with your 6-year-old. It’s full of adults-only sexual explorations and powerful, jarring intersections that’ll stick with you long after the credits roll. But it is the kind of movie that makes you want to tuck in the kiddos and then race to the living room to snuggle up with your sweetie (or a bottle of Prosecco) for some intimate, grown-up screen time (just make sure they’re sleeping first, OK?).
Here we talk to award-winning director Amara Cash on parenting, love and inspiration – and why “Daddy Issues” is the best way to experience your next date night in.
Rockmommy: ‘Daddy Issues’ is a coming-of-age story. What was the inspiration for Maya’s character?
Amara Cash: Well, from the onset, screenwriter Alex Bloom and I knew we wanted to do a movie with a queer protagonist. For the details of Maya, specifically, I was inspired by the beautiful artistry, makeup, and fashion of the subcultures Pastel emo, Lolita goth, and pixie that I found on Instagram, Pinterest, and BLOGS.
Rockmommy: Why is a film like ‘Daddy Issues’ resonating so well with filmgoers (especially millennials)?
Amara Cash: My approach often resonates with millennials because of the style and aesthetic. It’s fast-paced and explores sexuality and alternative lifestyle in an objective, non-judgmental way. Although love triangles are classic, I’ve never seen one from this angle!
Rockmommy: Our readers are often parents struggling with the pressure to be amazing parents. How do the parents in the movie struggle to do the same?
Amara Cash: This movie isn’t exactly stacked with model parents, but I think most parents, most of the time, are doing their best. In ‘Daddy Issues’ we spend a lot of time exploring why people are the way they are; how their past informs their present. This is especially true with the parents in the movie.
Rockmommy: Is ‘Daddy Issues’ more of a “let’s snuggle on the couch and watch this” movie or a “let’s have our friends over and get smashed” movie?
Amara Cash: I think it can be both. The film is equally romantic, exciting and disturbing and it’s quite a ride. So if you’re snuggling, hold on tight, and if you’re partying, just let go.
Rockmommy: If Daddy were to give parenting advice, what would it be?
Amara Cash: Encourage your children to be who they are and be there for them wherever they go.
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy.