Katie Holmes: George Pimentel/WireImage.com; Mandy Moore: Scott Gries/Getty Images
Karyn L. Barr
October 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

President, Schmesident! The true battle of 2004 is getting under way, and it’s between the First Daughters. No, not Dubya’s twins — we mean ”Dawson’s Creek”’s Katie Holmes and ”A Walk to Remember”’s Mandy Moore. They’re each starring in seemingly identical films set to open the week of Jan. 5.

Billed as romantic dramas with some comedy, both Holmes’ ”First Daughter” and ”The Untitled Mandy Moore Project” follow a rebellious presidential offspring who finds forbidden love while trying to lead a ”normal” life outside the White House fishbowl. ”Obviously we can say [the films] are completely different until the cows come home,” says Andy Cadiff, who’s directing Moore for Warner Bros. ”But, yeah, when you one-line them, both are about the First Daughter falling in love with a Secret Service agent.” (Sound familiar, Susan Ford?)

Neither will budge on its release date, and the rhetoric is starting to get ugly: ”Theirs is the rinky-dink version,” says John Davis, who’s producing Holmes’ film for Twentieth Century Fox. ”Audiences will go for the bigger and better movie. I have a major director [Forest Whitaker]. I have a major movie star. And I have a huge movie…. It’s like if you stand next to an extremely homely person, it only makes you look prettier.”

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