Daddy’s Little Girls

Rated 2.0

A garage mechanic (Idris Elba) struggles to make ends meet and to wrest custody of his three daughters (real-life sisters Sierra, Lauryn and China McClain) from their lowlife mother (Tasha Smith) and her drug-dealer boyfriend (Gary Sturgis)—all while falling in love with his beautiful pro-bono lawyer (Gabrielle Union). Writer-director Tyler Perry stays off-screen (and out of his “Madea” drag) on this one, but the film still has his trademark artless sincerity and family-oriented good intentions. Unfortunately, it also has his penchant for cardboard characters and awkward dialogue, and his standard practice of resolving complicated situations in a quick flurry of clichés. Elba and Union bring a sexy likeability to their characters, and Louis Gossett Jr. lends the movie stature as Elba’s boss.