Bleeding Love review – Ewan McGregor and daughter Clara are toe-curlingly terrible in rehab flick

Estimated read time 2 min read

Ewan McGregor co-stars with his daughter Clara McGregor in this avowedly personal story of a guy going on a road trip with his estranged 20-year-old daughter from his first marriage, dealing with trust and intimacy issues, and their own previous battles with substance abuse. In theory, it should be possible to do a film like this without it being a complete toe-curling nepo vanity project. I, for example, very much enjoyed Flag Day, the film Sean Penn made with his daughter Dylan. But this unbearably cute joint selfie of a movie is gruesomely indulgent and entitled from the first; it allows Ewan McGregor little or no opportunity to show his natural wit and flair and there is oddly no real chemistry between him and his co-star.

Ewan plays a guy who is supposedly a “landscape gardener” (he is announced as such with his firm’s details on the side of his truck, as opposed to “movie star and dad”). He has just helped his daughter recover from an overdose and now they’re making this therapeutic journey, although he hasn’t been entirely candid about where they’re heading. She keeps getting out of the truck to pee and, the first time, takes the opportunity to take off running across the desert, with her dad in pursuit. Where on earth did she think she was going, asks Ewan exasperatedly.

Where indeed? But it’s no sillier or more contrived than anything else in the film. We keep getting truly terrible “flashback” sequences in which Ewan is the adoring daddy to Clara when she was a little kid, and when he finally has to walk out on her (for his new relationship) he gives her a supersad-face-emoji expression as he leaves. It is a tiny moment of saturated awfulness that epitomises the entire film.


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