The Royal Tenenbaums (2001): Father’s Day

The Royal Tenenbaums.jpg

An untraditional movie for the unconventional fathers. Not all dads are great dads, so if Father’s Day is kind of a bummer for you, this may be a good watch. This movie follows the Tanenbaum family and their estranged father, who pretends to be ill to get back into his family’s good graces. The children all hold contempt for the patriarch as he had abandoned them in the past, but he begins to work to try to mend their relationships. I am a fan of Wes Anderson’s films, although this one definitely isn’t in my top 3, it’s an enjoyable watch. I feel like this is one of the films that really cemented his quirky style, so I definitely think it is worth checking out, especially if you’re trying to work through some daddy issues.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfintiy available? Yes

Holiday rating: 6 dads

 

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Taken (2008): Father’s Day

Taken

He has a very particular set of skills. He will find them and he will kill them. So, probably not your typical Father’s Day shtick, but it does follow a father doing everything in his power to save his daughter. Liam Neeson plays an estranged father who left his job in the CIA to try to repair his relationship with his daughter Kim, who lives with her mother and very wealthy step father. Kim begs her father to let her go on a trip to Paris with her friend, and although he is hesitant to let her, he agrees, stressing to her the importance of being safe. Soon after arriving, she is taken by sex traffickers and her father must use his experience to save her. This movie shows the dedication most fathers have to their children, the willingness to do whatever they can to help them. This movie became a surprise success, and despite not being perfect, is definitely a fun action thriller to watch with dad.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfintiy available? Yes

Holiday rating: 7 dads

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993): Father’s Day

Mrs Doubtfire

I love a good movie about a man fulfilling his role as a father and with this one, look no further. I doubt many people need a summary but just in case… This film follows a recently divorced father who is desperate to spend more time with his children when he is only granted one day of visitation per week. He decides to pretend to be a female nanny in order to see his children every day. So the movie is definitely silly and you have to suspend belief to enjoy it. But it is very cute, very silly, and of course stars the incomparable Robin Williams in the lead role of Daniel. Of course this movie is goofy, but honestly the best part of this film for me, is watching Daniel learn how to care for his children responsibly. At he beginning of the film he is obviously a loving, albeit irresponsible father, forcing his wife to be the strict one. After taking on his role as Mrs. Doubtfire, he learns to cook, clean, and enforce rules. This is a wonderful Father’s Day film because it really follows Daniel through his journey of becoming a better parent.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 9 dads

Daddy Daycare (2003): Father’s Day

Daddy Day Care

So, I saw this movie when it first came out, and even though I was a preteen I thought it was just okay. Upon rewatching it, I think it was better than I remembered it and I honestly don’t remember why I thought it was so bad and why the critics were so hard on it. Is it a masterpiece? No. Does it have some mediocre slapstick comedy? Yes. But, it’s honestly a heartwarming and decently original film. This film follows two dads who get laid off and, upon realizing their neighborhood’s lack of decent affordable child care open a daycare. They struggle at first, but grow successful.  I may be biased as someone who has previously worked in child care, but I completely relate to how overwhelming it can be to manage 20 children at once, but then you become so invested in their development and learn how to do it and it is incredibly rewarding. It’s especially refreshing to see the role of caregiver from men in film. This movie subverts lots of traditional views of child rearing as a woman’s job and I personally think it’s a great pick for Father’s Day. It’s a little corny, but it’s an enjoyable watch. Also, it has a surprisingly kick ass soundtrack.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? Yes

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 9 dads

 

Cheaper by the Dozen (2003): Father’s Day

Cheaper by the Dozen

I’ve heard of big families but this is ridiculous. This movie, a remake of the 1950’s comedy, follows a family with 12 children. So this movie isn’t great, it’s full of early 2000’s family movie cheese. The Baker family movies from rural Michigan out to the suburbs of Chicago when father, Tom, played by Steve Martin, gets his dream job as a football coach at his alma mater. When wife, Kate, played by Bonnie Hunt, gets a book published and is scheduled for a book tour, Tom must maintain his new job while keeping control of all 12 kids. This movie is pretty dumb, and sickeningly family friendly. I mean, obviously it has its cute family moments, but overall the kids kind of suck. The best part of this movie is Steve Martin, so I think this is a harmless enough movie to check out if you want some clean, cheesy Father’s Day fun.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 8 dads

Finding Nemo (2003): Father’s Day

Finding Nemo

I doubt there is a person on earth who doesn’t know what this movie is, but just in case. This movie takes place in the deep blue sea and follows a father fish, Marlin who loses his wife and all his children except one, his son Nemo. This has led him to be neurotic about Nemo’s safety. When Nemo gets captured by a scuba diver, Marlin enlists the help of a forgetful blue tang, Dory, to find him. This movie is sweet because it shows the lengths a father will go for his son and examines the effects of trauma on a parent-child relationship (I’m not kidding). I think this is a great movie to watch for Father’s Day, for families of all ages. It’s silly, it’s heart-wrenching, and it’s beautifully animated. I recommend everyone and anyone put this in their Father’s Day line up.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 9 dads

Lady Bird (2017): Mother’s Day

Lady Bird

This film follows the turbulent relationship between a strong willed girl and her equally stubborn mother in 2002. Christine, who goes by Lady Bird, is navigating her way through her senior year and dreaming of going to college on the east coast. She doesn’t quite have the grades, or money, but she is determined to get out of Sacramento somehow. Her mother is opinionated and thinks Christine’s life choices are always the wrong ones, a misguided attempt at parenting. I strongly related to this movie because I was the “getting out of this town, I know everything” kind of teen and my mom was just doing the best she was to guide me, even though sometimes she hurt more than helped. I think this movie will resonate with a lot of mothers and daughters as it shows how the resentment eases and relationships improve as daughters age. I think this is a great watch for Mother’s Day movie marathon.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 10 moms