Monty James is a mechanic with three daughters: 5- year old China, 7 - year old Lauryn and 12 - year old Sierra, who dreams of owning his own shop. His children have been cared for by their maternal grandmother Kat Jackson for years. She reveals to Monty that she has lung cancer and asks that Monty look after the girls. A few weeks later, Kat passes away. His ex-wife, Jennifer Jackson, disrupts the service, demands her daughters live with her and sues for custody of them. Monty accepts help from Maya, an employment agency worker, who recommends he works as a driver for Julia Rossmore, an attorney in Atlanta.
Julia’s friends, Brenda and Cynthia, set Julia up on a blind date with Byron - a dimwitted, middle-aged rapper. She also ends up on a blind date with a guy who she thinks is perfect for her until his wife and kids expose him as an unfaithful married man. When Monty and Julia meet, she insists on having everything done on schedule. Meanwhile, Sierra accidentally starts a fire in his home and she and her siblings end up at the hospital where Social Services are notified and the children are sent to live with their mother and her boyfriend, Joe, who is the main drug dealer in the area. Julia goes to the hospital to demand Monty to take her home, but sees Social Services sending his children to live with Jennifer. Monty returns to his day job as a mechanic and finds the owner Willie has been injured in a robbery. Willie offers to sell the shop to Monty for a $10,000 deposit.
Meanwhile, his daughters, now living with their mother, face verbal abuse from Jennifer on a regular basis. She even gets Sierra in trouble at school after forcing her to secretly sell illegal substances on campus, under the threat that she would have Monty killed. After Sierra gets caught, Monty shows up at the principal's office and tries to save his daughter, but Joe also shows up and threatens to kill him if he intrudes upon his streets. Monty later goes to Julia for help, which she declines at first after the driving incident. However, she shows up during the court case, and decides to serve as his lawyer for the rest of the trial.
Julia finishes Monty’s case preparation and discovering it is her 32nd birthday, takes her to his favorite jazz club, where they dance. As they are traveling home, Julia kisses Monty and asks him to spend the night. Monty is willing but Julia is too drunk and vomits in the bathroom. Julia changes her mind and tells Monty to go home. Over the next few weeks, Julia begins to feel confused. She goes to Monty's apartment to meet his daughters during his visitation right. When they're at the aquarium, Julia sees one of her friends there and gets reminded that she has to be conscious of decisions which impact her career. Monty overhears Julia’s friend and is hurt.
At the child custody hearing, Julia argues that it would be in the children's best interest for Monty to be awarded custody. Jennifer’s lawyer says that Monty is irresponsible due to an earlier conviction of statutory rape. Julia feels betrayed because she didn’t hear this information from Monty earlier; she leaves, telling Monty that custody will be awarded to Jennifer. At 3:00 am, Monty's daughters arrive at his house and tell him that they can no longer stay with Jennifer and Joe because of their treatment to them. They then reveal that Joe has been hitting China, proving it by revealing that her back is bruised, while Jennifer just watched and did nothing about it. Monty promises the girls that everything will be fine and that they will stay with him from now on. After his daughters are asleep, Monty drives away and crashes into Jennifer and Joe's car, after which he physically assaults Joe and a crowd gathers. Joe's thugs arrive and begin to attack Monty, but the crowd, having had enough, fights them off. Monty, Joe, Jennifer, and his thugs are all arrested. Julia sees a report on the incident, in which Monty is identified as having been "falsely convicted" of rape.
Jennifer and Joe are facing drug charges in court, because cocaine and marijuana was found in Joe's car and house, while Monty is to be charged with assault. Julia represents Monty, apologizing for not hearing his side of the story. The witnesses testify against Joe but refuse to testify against Monty, so Jennifer and Joe, along with all of Joe's thugs, are jailed without bail while the case against Monty is dropped. Monty tells Julia that he loves her. His daughters greet him and Julia at the auto shop that now bears his name. Monty and Julia kiss, and the neighbors celebrate Monty's success.Idris Elba as Monty James, a hard-working mechanicGabrielle Union as Julia Rossmore, Monty's lawyer and love interestLouis Gossett, Jr. as WillieChina Anne McClain as China James, Montys' youngest daughterLauryn Alisa McClain as Lauryn James, Montys' middle daughterSierra Aylina McClain as Sierra James, Montys' oldest daughterTasha Smith as Jennifer Jackson, Monty's selfish, drug-addicted ex-wife who is bent on getting custody of their three daughtersGary Sturgis as Joe, Jennifer's gangster boyfriend and drug dealer who has the town in fearTerri J. Vaughn as Brenda, Julia's lawyer friend who does not approve of MontyMalinda Williams as Maya ElizabethTracee Ellis Ross as Cynthia, Julia's other colleague friend who also does not approve of MontyCassi Davis as Rita, Jennifer's aunt and sister of Jennifer's mom, KatLaVan Davis as LesterTimon Kyle Durrett as Ronald JohnsonJuanita Jennings as Kat Jackson, Jennifer's mom who died in the beginning of the filmMazviita Foto as AmyBrian J. White (uncredited cameo) as ChristopherCraig Robinson (cameo) as Byron, a loud-mouthed, middle-aged rapper.Bishop Eddie Long as himself
The film opened at #5 on Valentine's Day 2007 behind Ghost Rider, Bridge to Terabithia, Norbit's second weekend, and Music and Lyrics, and has grossed $31,609,243 worldwide, making it Tyler Perry's lowest-grossing film.
The film received generally negative reviews from critics, earning a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site's critical consensus reads: "Daddy's Little Girls boasts fine performances and a poignant message, but is ultimately let down by amateurish filmmaking".
Atlantic Records released Music inspired by the film: Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls, in stores and online on January 16, 2007. Among the highlights of the album is "Family First," the first-ever recording by the Houston Family -- Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, and Cissy Houston. The song "Can't let You Go" by Anthony Hamilton is not on the soundtrack. Also, the song "Beautiful" by Meshell Ndegeocello is featured in the movie.
- Anthony Hamilton featuring Jaheim & Musiq Soulchild - "Struggle No More (The Main Event)"
- R. Kelly - "Don't Let Go"
- Tamika Scott of "Xscape" - "Greatest Gift"
- Adrian Hood - "Brown Eyed Blues"
- Whitney Houston, Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick and The Family - "Family First"
- Yolanda Adams - "Step Aside"
- Brian McKnight - "I Believe"
- Beyoncé Knowles - "Daddy"
- Anthony Hamilton - "Struggle No More"
- Governor - "Blood, Sweat & Tears"
- Charles "Gator" Moore - "A Change Is Gonna Come"