Parenthood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Parenthood Reviews

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January 8, 2017
One of my favorite comedies as a child and (now) adult.
½ January 7, 2017
Parenthood is a warm and light family dramedy, that even though stumbles upon clichés along the way, it boasts a great ensemble cast to keep it solid.
December 23, 2016
This is one of Steve Martin's best films, and I could watch this movie again and again. The most poignant scenes, for me, are with Helen and her children. It is easy to see their attributes and, also, their flaws. I like movies where I can learn about situations outside of my own, and this movie does just that. It also made me laugh but, more often, it just made me smile.
½ July 26, 2016
As the title suggests, "Parenthood" is an insightful comedy about bringing up children that's heartwarmingly funny.
July 14, 2016
Solid comedy with great story telling and strong characters
June 23, 2016
This movie still really stands the test of time, an also, being a lover of the TV show that was based on it, I now see a lot more similarities between the TV and movie families. The only mis-step is that there's a comedic mass-shooter scene where a father envisions he's messed up his child who becomes a gunman, but how was 1989 Hollywood to know that was to become our reality?
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2016
An old film I have not seen. Great performance from Steve Martin with some genuine laughs and one of the first ever roles for Keanu Reeves too. What I liked most about this was that is was more relatable and believable than other films about dysfunctional families and the characters actually had depth.
May 24, 2016
5/23/2016: More drama than comedy which was disappointing. A great cast and story, but I was hoping for more laughs.
½ February 1, 2016
one roller coaster sound effect away from perfect.
January 2, 2016
Bitter sweet comedy, dysfunctional family and relatives try and cope with what life throws at them. Only film ever to make me feel broody!
½ January 1, 2016
Life is like a roller coaster.
December 17, 2015
An underrated classic. Great ensemble cast featuring Steve Martin at his finest. I've liked this movie since I first watched it on my grandparents Black Box back in the day. Hasn't aged a day.
October 25, 2015
Like some of Ron Howard's work, too sitcom-safe to really be a total home run. Very middle of the road movie, but it's a nice road to travel down the middle of - with an exceptional cast.

As much a drama as a comedy, despite the presence of Martin and Moranis. Both get a couple of broad moments to satisfy their comedy fans (eg Cowboy Gil, the baseball pitch happy dance) but both play more nuanced characters than their earlier screwball stuff. This film is more about dealing with the lows of parenthood (kids with learning/emotional issues, kids getting married or pregnant too young, kids discovering monkeys to be spanked) than it is about celebrating the highs. But the film deals with these challenges in a way that has such affection and empathy for the characters, that the film earns the humour in is comedic moments, and the joy in the uplifting ones. The final scene - especially the wonderful slow pan across (almost) the entire ensemble is beautifully conceived and executed...and an exquisite, wordless evocation of "what it's all about" - as my neighbour said to me after my son was born. Life, really.

But mostly, this film lives up to its title. And yet it's really more about "fatherhood" than "parenthood", with the focus more on Martin, Moranis and Robards than on their respective spouses. The exception to this is Dianne Wiest - who delivers the standout perf in the film (and not for the first time). But the entire ensemble is great. Robards is typically proficient, although his arc from a dad worse than Darth Vader to merely a grumpy old (but loveable) man is a little too Hollywoodised, especially considering his wife is wallpaper here. Hulce is too much a cardboard douche to resonate - perhaps he had some more sympathetic stuff cut. Otherwise, all the subplots and characters work to one degree or another.

Martin does neurotic winner (as opposed to loser) better than anyone, and he certainly portrays a devoted father here, but as a husband...well he comes across as a bit of a bastard, to be honest - spitting out invective at a world-weary (and generally lovely) Steenburgen with an uncomfortable savagery at times. But oddly, I bought their relationship...I accepted that the wife was well used to shrugging off the husband's incensed rants as mere steam-release venting. And the actors sell the softer moments of the marriage nicely too.

Speaking of which, I screened this for Hue recently as we have just become parents ourselves. I never thought she had seen the film before, and I don't think she really HAD ever watched it, with much attention, anyway. But halfway through the movie, she turns to me and says: "I've seen this. She gives him a blowjob in the car while he's driving. And they crash". It's funny what you remember.

I also remember some of the funny dialogue of Parenthood. Some samples:

Keanu: "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father."

Plimpton: "He said that he loved me."
Wiest: "Men say that. They all say that. Then they cum."

But the quote I've always recalled most from Parenthood is Steve Martin's bitter, resigned Gil spitting out a phrase that he makes sound pretty bad, but isn't, necessarily...something that perfectly encapsulates the experience that this movie gets its title from:

"My whole life is "HAVE TO""

September 21, 2015
Though not without its moments of groan-inducing schmaltz, this classic does a good job at capturing a big ol' slice of the parenting experience through relatable emotions and often hilarious situations.

The brilliant cast -- all getting opportunities to flex comedic or dramatic chops that audiences aren't used to seeing -- really elevate the proceedings and provide characters who are enjoyable to watch throughout the emotional highs and lows.

Whether you're a child or parent, were born in the 80s or 90s, or have grown up kids or little ones, there's something really nostalgic about this film, its setting, and its content. While not perfect (many of the more mature moments of comedy seem a bit out of place, for instance), you'll see something of your life in here somewhere, and offer a few well-deserved chuckles.
½ August 4, 2015
This is a fine movie that is full of humor, as well as some real touching moments. It's about how a family interacts not only in society, but with each other. Every person's strengths and faults are on display, and the portrayals by this ensemble cast are right on target. Steve Martin, as Gill, is probably the central character here, & he has to deal not only with the hypocracy in the work force, but with his tempermental and sensitive son. I thought that the storyline was well developed, and that the characters seemed true to life. Ron Howard did an excellent job of directing. The ending is very bittersweet, as even with the multi births and the happiness shown on the faces of the family members, you can also notice them in pensive poses, as though wondering what life will have in store for each of them, as well as the new additions. A good, thought-provoking movie indeed
½ June 15, 2015
A cute depiction of the challenges of parenting.
June 3, 2015
One of my favorite movies and seeing it again was a treat. A wonderful cast and Steve Martin at his very best give great performances that bring to life the warm, funny, touching story of all that is best and worst about family, with the inspiring message that the best wins out in the end, or that there are always ups to balance the downs. This is the kind of film that is a true classic, never dated.
May 15, 2015
This movie is definitely one of Ron Howard's best.
April 16, 2015
Felt forced......a Hollywood contrived version of the family that stays together through thick and thin.
April 4, 2015
Good family movie, enjoyed it!
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