Although Dudley Moore reprises the befuddled-nice-guy persona that has carried him through a dozen or so feature films, his performance in “Daddy’s Girls” is often overshadowed by a far-less skilled ensemble cast, with decidedly mixed results.
Moore’s turn as Dudley Walker, the chief of a faltering fashion business and the father of a trio ofdaughters, is enjoyable to watch and he delivers some laugh-out-loud punch lines. But that’s not likely to sustain viewer interest beyond a handful of episodes.
Naturally, Walker also has a sensitive and sympathetic side, although he more often uses his penchant for perfectly placed one-liners to defuse any conflicts that may arise.
But show’s writers Brenda Hampton and David Landsberg turn too often to one-liners, instead of giving Moore anything substantial with which to work.
When Walker’s marriage dissolves and his business partner takes a powder, the besieged exec must work at maintaining his seemingly tenuous relationship with his three grown daughters.
But here the scripters also dropthe ball, creating three uninteresting characters, a sort of hear, see and speak-no-evil grouping that plagues this pilot.
Phoebe (Keri Russell) is a dim-bulbed college student who sees the good in everything and is often the butt of jokes in the trio’s repartee; eldest daughter Amy (Stacy Galina), who is married to lovable dork Lenny (Alan Ruck), puts everyone else’s needs above her own.
Only Samantha (Meredith Scott Lynn) seems to have a pulse, as she aspires to take over daddy’s business.
Lynn is convincing and does anadmirable job of keeping up with the witticisms dished out at warp speed by Moore and Harvey Fierstein, who plays a wacky, albeit stereotypical, fashion designer.
But when the last pattern is cut, “Daddy’s Girls,” directed by Barnet Kellman , comes up a bolt or two short.