Thursday Movie Picks: Parenthood

For a while, I scoffed at movies all to do with being a parent. Everything was either over-dramatised or made to look far easier than it really is. Now, I’ve come to realise that’s the way it has to be. No one wants to part with their hard-earned cash to watch a pair of adult actors pick up half-chewed cereal scattered across the house, reading the same colourful book 5 times in a row, trying to work out why pasta was the best food ever yesterday but disgusting today, and traipsing around the park all afternoon in an attempt to wear the little devils angels out.

You guessed it, this week’s Thursday Movie Picks theme is Parenthood. It’s a huge topic, but I’ve narrowed my choices down to simply my favourites.

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Away We Go (2009)

As seems to always happen with these themes, I only watched Away We Go for the first time last month. It’s a beautiful little movie starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph all about becoming parents for the first time, and all the worries and anxieties that come with it. There are so many moments that made me laugh out loud, like poor Maya being told constantly how huge she looks. People! What is it about pregnancy that makes it totally okay and normal to call a hormonal woman huge?!

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Captain Fantastic (2016)

Everyone has their own ideals about how to raise children, and Viggo Mortensen plays a Father who, with his wife, has raised his children in the mountains, teaching them how to hunt and forage for their own food and how to treat injuries. They have home-schooled all of their children also, to the disgust of the kid’s grandparents. When the family is forced together after a tragedy, the inevitable conflicts emerge. Captain Fantastic is such a touching movie, I loved it.

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Instant Family (2019)

This is one of the many movies released this year that has taken me by surprise. I expected a fairly average Mark Wahlberg comedy about how adopting foster children can ruin your relationship, but Instant Family was so sincere and strangely real and honest about the whole process, from the struggles that the children themselves go through to the judgments that your own family can make about it all. It balances the drama and comedy really well, which I think is so hard to do.

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17 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Parenthood

  1. I haven’t seen the last but I’m glad to read the positive feedback, my impression was your first one also.

    I liked but didn’t love the other two but both had good things in them. Viggo was very strong in his film.

    I went the lighthearted route on my second two but my first shows both the ups and way downs of sheparding kids through childhood and beyond.

    Parenthood (1989)-Ron Howard directed this gentle, insightful comic drama of a group of siblings-Gil (Steve Martin), Helen (Dianne Wiest), Susan (Harley Jane Kozak) and the ne’er do well Larry (Tom Hulce)-their parents (Jason Robards & Eileen Ryan), their somewhat dotty grandmother (Helen Shaw) and their various spouses and offspring (including Mary Steenburgen, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton and a very young Joaquin Phoenix) as they navigate the big and little issues of child rearing.

    Mr. Mom (1983)-When automobile engineer Jack (Michael Keaton) is downsized his wife, Caroline (Teri Garr), returns to work as an ad exec with Jack taking over as homemaker and caring for their three kids. Though he eventually gets the hang of it there are many hilarious misadventures beforehand. But then tensions start to rise between Jack & Caroline as her work demands increase and his jealousy rises. Daffy and fun.

    Father of the Bride (1950)-When the apple of Stanley Banks’s (Spencer Tracy) eye, his daughter Kay (Elizabeth Taylor-breathtakingly beautiful), announces at dinner her engagement to Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor) he’s thrown for a loop. But he discovers that the realization that Kay is grown up is nothing compared to the problems he encounters planning her wedding! As things get hectic, Stan’s wife, Ellie (Joan Bennett), tries to be the calm in the center of the storm, but even she might not be a match to Stan’s jitters. Released to coincide with Elizabeth Taylor’s first (disastrous) marriage to Nicky Hilton this was an enormous hit.

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  2. I thought Away We Go was OK as it at least was something different from Sam Mendes from the usual Oscar-bait films he sort of does. Captain Fantastic is awesome!

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