Parenthood Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2007
Parenthood is a wonderfully written family film, directed by the infinitely brilliant Ron Howard. Now, I don't have any kids myself, but I can bet the farm on the hypothesis that there's a lot of parents out there who can relate to the situations in this story.

I remember when I was a teenager and watched this with my mom, and she loved it for its honesty and thought it perfectly encapsulated everything it means to be a parent. Not a single a detail has been overlooked, from the teen boy who just discovers the wonders of sex (resulting in a lot of sneaking around with a paper bag full of porn), or the father who raises his 5-year old daughter to be the next Nobel Prize winner. Every type of family and behavior is flawlessly covered. And as if that wasn't enough to wow us, comical genius Steve Martin gives one of his all-time greatest performances, along with the rest of the cast whom are all stellar as well.

One thing I didn't notice until now (by my third viewing or so), is that the previously mentioned adolescent is actually played by Joaquin Phoenix. He's so young in this film, that it had previously escaped me. Keanu Reeves is really fun also, with a character that reminded me a lot of his Bill & Ted days (that is to say, before he got all corpse-like and humorless).

By far the best movie Ron Howard has ever made, and that's should be saying a lot, considering he's the mastermind behind such cinematic jewels as Cocoon and Frost/Nixon. From the deepest places in my heart, I love this film to bits. It's hilarious, yet dashed with melancholy and pathos. Wacky and out of control, yet always down-to-earth.

Simply put: the greatest film I've ever seen about family life, parenting and the beautiful bonds that ties it altogether. I couldn't possibly give it any higher recommendation. It's just one of those movies you have to see!
Super Reviewer
½ November 6, 2011
Julie: He said that he loved me. 
Helen: Men say that. They all say that. Then they cum. 

"It could happen to you."

There's so much great stuff going on in Ron Howard's Parenthood. The movie is a hilarious take on the serious issues that come from the responsibility. It is kind of like the saying, "If you don't laugh, you'll cry." That's how it is with these characters and sometimes they do laugh. Other times they can't and they cry. 

There is no true plot in Parenthood, but just different parents from the same family dealing with the daily hassles of parenthood. Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen play one of these sets of parents. They have three kids and are especially having trouble with one who has to go into special ed classes. Another set of parents are played by Rick Moranis and Ivyann Schwan. They have one daughter and the father is overly into getting her to be as smart as possible. She is 4 years old and he already has her learning foreign languages and memorizing the periodic table. Then there's a single mom played by Diane Wiest, who I normally don't like, but was surprisingly funny here; who has a daughter who just got married and a young son who is separating emotionally from her as a result of his dad leaving. Last, but not least there's the older father, played by Jason Robards. He has a son who is constantly getting in trouble with bookies and he has to decide how to handle it. He also has to atone for being a lousy father to his now adult kids.

The cast is crazy good in this movie. So many big names and they are all great. The performance I enjoyed the most was from a preteen Joaquin Phoenix, credited as Leaf Phoenix. He plays Garry, a kid who is emotionally distant from his mother and enraged at his father for leaving him and not caring about him. Phoenix shows the power that he would go on to display for years at such a young age in a scene where he decides he wants to live with his father for awhile. When he makes the call and is disappointed by the answer, Phoenix gives an emotional and powerful side to a character that for the first part of the movie just said Bye and left the room.

The movie is oddly touching because it is so hilarious. A few times I had to stop the movie because I was laughing so hard. A lot of the humor comes from just how true the subject matter is. Ron Howard does a great job adding humor to some of the situations. I was very surprised by just how good this movie was. I expected just another Steve Martin vehicle, but this was much, much more then that.

Tod: You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father. 
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2011
Great family film with some fine performances. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2008
A true family that sticks together :) A great Steve Martin movie :)
Super Reviewer
August 29, 2010
Honest and surprisingly hard-hitting film-making, despite this film being a more-or-less family-friendly comedy. Everyone is over-the-top in this film in their own way, but believably so - they're no more ridiculous than a lot of real families. A believable classic from the late 80s that's well worth watching.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2010
one of the funniest film that i ever saw.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2010
I had to watch it again because of the TV series that started. I was doing a compare/contrast review on my own. I actually thought the film, though very dated now, was pretty darn funny. Wild and crazy but sweet and tender. Pretty good.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2009
"Parenthood" stars Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen as parents of kids that are growing up and going through their growing pains. The parents have to deal with such things as their kids throwing up all over them, sending one of their kids to a psychiatrist, and even deciding whether or not to have another kid. There are also other stars in the movie such as Rick Moranis who have families and are also having their tough times with their own kids.
What makes "Parenthood" a classic comedy movie other than that it's one of Steve Martin's best movies is that it successfully blends comedy with drama both at the same time. Parts of it are hilarious such as when Steve Martin shows up at his son's birthday party pretending to be a cowboy, and there are even some serious and sad parts such as when Steve Martin's dad asks him for advice.

I recommend "Parenthood" to anybody who likes either comedy or drama movies because "Parenthood" is a classic. Whether you have kids or not, you can really enjoy this movie a lot. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001.
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2008
Heartwarming and sidesplitting like whoa. Oddly enough, one of the best lines came from Keanu Reeves: "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father."
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2008
Great film, Ron Howard trying to establish himself as a director post-Cocoon.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2007
This is family...
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2007
This movie has a great family reunion, with many different interesting characters and their assorted struggles. Steve Martin was great entertaining the kids. Rick Moranis was hilarious with over-educating his young daughter. There were plenty of dynamics and old conflicts to settle. It was all nicely balanced with the comedy. An enjoyable film with ineresting interactions.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
A large family each with their own set of problems.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Funny and smart.
Super Reviewer
March 15, 2007
Inexplicably well-liked family film that *snigger* ALMOST *chortle* mentions BLOW JOBS!!! *guffaw*
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2007
This film is warm-hearted and funny enough to carry it off. A really pleasing couple of hours, with the scene where Mary Steenburgen tries to 'relax' husband Steve Martin a particular delight. One of the few 'family' films aimed at the adults, rather than the kids.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2007
funny movie
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2010
This movie is a well-intentioned look at the child-rearing techniques of different types of parents. The constant fear of destroying your child's life by one wrong word is understood the world over and this film brings that message to you and shows that parenting is worth the trial and tribulations that children bring. Steve Martin is perfect as a father who seems to have the key. Overall, a touching film that delivers some great comedy
Super Reviewer
½ June 24, 2008
This was a lot better than I was expecting because the film really tries to be honest about the ups and downs of parenting and family life in general. The metaphor of the roller coaster at the end is far too obvious and a little over the top in my opinion, but so much of the stories about this family seemed to be things I remember my parents going through and other family as well. The performances are really spot on here, Steve Martin and Dianne Wiest are really terrific in each of their separate stories and they got most of the attention, but the other performances like Rick Moranis, Mary Steenburgen Jason Robards and Tom Hulce (as the deadbeat family member that everyone has to deal with), are just as equally good. It's not a perfect film, but I admire that Ron Howard specifically set out to make a more complex and realistic film than this could have been.
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2008
You might have to meet it half way with the family dynamics cliches, but hey, for all I know they wern't cliches when this nearly 20-year old film was released. But what is surprising are the moments that ring true. I really felt for Dianne Wiest's character during her date with her little speech about not being old enough to be a grandmother. "I went to Woodstock, for Christ's sake!" What was most unexpected was the confrontation with the black sheep son with a gambling problem. There's a moment of revealing desperation and pity in his refusal to be like his brother. The final montage scene in the hospital is touching too, albeit a little distantly. Oh, and I definetly wasn't expecting contemplation of abortion and a very explicit reference to oral sex. O_O
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