Director: Ron Howard
Screenwriter: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Starring: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Synopsis: “Perfectionist Gil Buckman struggles with the deficiencies of his children, thinking they reflect poorly on his parenting — and Gil’s siblings only add to the stress of his life. One of his sisters faces difficulty when her teenage daughter becomes pregnant. Another clashes with her husband when she asks for more children. Gil’s immature brother (Tom Hulce) turns up as well, with a young son he can barely handle.” – Google
Our Take: Is Parenthood the single most underrated movie of all time? Very possibly, is our answer. For while Parenthood is widely enjoyed by many a kind soul and used to play on television ad nauseam (maybe still does; we haven’t watched television for a long time), an argument might be made that the real strengths of Ron Howard’s masterpiece often go painfully unnoticed. Parenthood is a Steve Martin comedy. It’s also a lot more than a Steve Martin comedy.
Parenthood understands that there are different stages of childhood. It also understands that every parent is a child. It’s also a rare film that will offer fresh insight as its audience grows older and watches it again. It’s poignancy spans generations.
Parenthood is an enormously funny movie, but it’s a comedy that focuses on character and understanding more than punch lines. The truth regarding family that Howard manages to convey – there is very possibly no movie that better expresses the dynamics of family – is all the more touching because a lot of it is conveyed through humour. Keanu Reeves’ license speech is concurrently the most powerful example of this as well as very possibly the peak of Reeves’ acting career.
There are three types of people in this world when it comes to Ron Howard’s Parenthood – those unlucky enough not to have seen it, those who glazed over it when it was on television back in the 90s and were unlucky enough not to have noticed its immense significance and those who understand its immense significance and haven’t been able to finish this article because they’re settling in to watch Parenthood again.