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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ron Howard|
|Produced by||Brian Grazer|
|Screenplay by||Lowell Ganz
|Story by||Lowell Ganz
|Music by||Randy Newman|
|Edited by||Daniel P. Hanley
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Parenthood is a 1989 comedy-drama film with an ensemble cast that includes Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, and Dianne Wiest.
The film was directed by Ron Howard, who assisted in developing the story with screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Much of it is based on the family and parenting experiences of Howard, Ganz, Mandel, and producer Brian Grazer, who have at least 14 children between the four of them. Principal photography was filmed in and around Orlando, Florida with some scenes filmed at the University of Florida. It was nominated for two Academy Awards: Dianne Wiest for Best Supporting Actress and Randy Newman for Best Song for "I Love to See You Smile".
Gil Buckman, a neurotic sales executive in the St. Louis area, is trying to balance his family and career. When he finds out that his eldest son, Kevin, has emotional problems and needs therapy, and that his other two children, Taylor and Justin, both have issues as well, he begins to blame himself and questions his abilities as a father. When his wife, Karen, announces she is pregnant with their fourth child on the same day he quit his sales job, he is unsure whether he can handle it.
Gil is also frustrated and fearful that the financial burdens of another child and office politics at work are turning him into the detached workaholic he despised his own father, Frank, for being. Troubled by family and work issues, he opens up to Frank about his doubts as a parent. Frank tells him that he worries too much, and they have a reconciliation of sorts with Frank telling Gil, as they watch a Little League baseball game, that worry and concern for one's children never ends. When a hired cowboy character fails to show up at Kevin's birthday party, Gil dresses up as a cowboy himself and expertly assumes the role.
Gil's sister, Helen, is a divorced bank manager whose ex-husband wants nothing to do with their children, Garry and Julie. Garry, who has just entered puberty, is quiet, uninvolved, and likes to be alone in his room with a mysterious paper bag. At first Helen worries that it contains drugs or alcohol, but it actually contains pornography.
Julie is still in high school. In spite of her rather high SAT, she is not interested in her education. She and her slacker boyfriend, Tod, get married, ultimately resulting in her becoming pregnant and him moving into Helen's house. When Helen asks him to talk with Garry, he is able to reassure Garry that his obsession with girls and sex is normal for a boy his age, something that is a relief to him. This also increases Helen's respect for him. Eventually she supports his and Julie's relationship to the extent that when she wants to break up with him, Helen orders her to face her fears and to support him.
Gil's other sister, Susan, is a middle school teacher married to Nathan, an intelligent scientist. They have a precocious daughter, Patty. She wants more children, but he is more interested in Patty's cognitive development. She lashes out by compromising her diaphragm as a plan to get pregnant against his wishes. She eventually gets so frustrated that she leaves him. He eventually comes to one of her classes and serenades her to win her back, promising her he will try to change. She agrees to move back home.
Larry, Gil's brother, is the black sheep of the family, but is Frank's favorite. Rather than settle into a career, he has drifted through life trying to cash in on get-rich-quick schemes. He has recently shown up, along with his son, Cool (the result of a brief affair with a Las Vegas showgirl), asking to borrow money from Frank. It soon becomes apparent that he needs it to pay off his gambling debts, or else he must pay with his life. Frank is disillusioned, but still loves him and tries to help. Frank refuses to bail him out completely, but offers to teach him the family business so he can take over for Frank (who has to put off retirement) and use the income to pay off the debt. He instead suggests a plan which involves him going to Chile, and Frank agrees to look after Cool.
The family is reunited at the hospital when Helen gives birth to a girl. Frank holds Cool. Tod and Julie are together, raising their son. Susan is visibly pregnant. Gil and Karen are now the parents of four, and his boss has rehired him.
Cast and characters
- Steve Martin as Gil Buckman
- Mary Steenburgen as Karen Buckman
- Jasen Fisher as Kevin Buckman
- Alisan Porter as Taylor Buckman
- Zachary La Voy as Justin Buckman (as Zachary Lavoy)
- Dianne Wiest as Helen Buckman
- Joaquin Phoenix as Garry Buckman
- Martha Plimpton as Julie Buckman
- Keanu Reeves as Tod Higgins
- Tom Hulce as Larry Buckman
- Alex Burrall as Cool
- Jason Robards as Frank Buckman
- Eileen Ryan as Marilyn Buckman
- Helen Shaw as Great Grandma Greenwell
- Harley Jane Kozak as Susan Buckman
- Rick Moranis as Nathan Huffner
- Ivyann Schwan as Patty Huffner
Release and reception
The film was well received by critics, and maintains a 93% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads: "Bolstered by a delightful cast, Parenthood is a funny and thoughtfully crafted look at the best and worst moments of family life that resonates broadly." It was also nominated by the American Film Institute for their 100 Years... 100 Laughs series.
The film opened at #1 in its opening weekend, earning $10 million. It eventually grossed over $100 million domestically and $126 million worldwide.
The film was adapted twice to TV: as a 1990 series and again in 2010.
In April 2009, filming began on a new television adaptation loosely based on the movie. Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia play the parents, joined by Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepard, Lauren Graham and Monica Potter.
- "Box Office Information for Parenthood". The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Parenthood (1989)". Box Office Mojo. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- "Parenthood". Rotten Tomatoes. 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs Nominees". AFI.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "NBC Order Pilot Of Parenthood @ Unreality Primetime". Primetime.UnrealityTV.co.uk. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- "Monica Potter Joins NBC's Parenthood". MovieWeb.com. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Parenthood (film)|
- Parenthood at the Internet Movie Database
- Parenthood at the TCM Movie Database
- Parenthood at AllMovie
- Parenthood at Rotten Tomatoes
- Parenthood at Box Office Mojo