Stand By Me (1986): Summer

Stand by Me

I never had any friends later on like the ones I did when I was twelve. This line always stands out to me because it takes me back to my childhood summers, bumming around my friend’s neighborhood, trying to find fun things to do. This movie follows a group of boys in the late 50’s who go on a journey to find a dead body in the woods. On the way they bond and face hard to swallow truths about themselves. It’s a classic coming of age film, that will get anyone in the mood for a laid back, technology free summer. I mean, you know, there’s definitely the whole dead body aspect which is kind of a bummer, but the main message of the film is growing up and coming into adulthood. This film is best enjoyed with no air conditioning in late summer with a popsicle and some lemonade.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 8 surfboards

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Vacation (2015): Summer

Vacation

Kick off your summer with a family road trip gone wrong. This is the latest installment in the National Lampoon vacation franchise, following Rusty, as he attempts to recreate his family road trip memories by taking his wife and kids to Wally World. Much like the original trip, things begin to go awry. Unlike the original, this movie is nothing groundbreaking or all that hilarious. It’s a lukewarm reboot that probably didn’t need to exist. However, because I had heard much awful things about it before I saw it… I actually didn’t hate it? Is it anything to write home about? No. Is it predictable? Yes. Did it still make me laugh somehow? Also yes. If you go in with an open mind, this could be a fun watch to get you in the mood for summer. Something about road trip movies always get me in the mood for summer. Check it out, just go in with low expectations and you might actually enjoy it.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 7 surfboards

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

 

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