Culture Magazine

Parenthood (1989)

By Newguy

rob challengeRob pick this comedy starring Steve Martin, I am not looking forward to this one.



Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel (Screenplay) Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard (Story)

Starring: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Joaquin Phoenix

Plot: The Buckman family is a Midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Drama, Weak Comedy

Story: Parenthood starts by introducing us to Gil (Martin) and his family wife Karen (Steenburgen) along with his kids dealing with everyday problems. We move to meet Gil’s sister Helen (West) and her kids’ troublemaker Garry (Phoenix) and teenager Julie (Plimpton), we also meet the third sister Susan (Kozak) and husband Nathan (Moranis). We have to watch as they have one big family get together for a big surprise the kid brother Larry (Hulce) return.

We watch how each family has to deal with their own personal problems and achievements as they try to raise their kids in their own different ways.

Parenthood does show how different people raise their children with different problems, how they all react to how they were raised. I do think something is missing in this film and that would be the other side of the spouse families which we hear nothing about. I personally don’t think this needed to throw in silly jokes and could have worked well as a light hearted drama about a real moment in life for all the characters.

Actor Review

Steve Martin: Gil is one of parents who wants to raise his kids the way he never thought he was raised, he wants them to have fun but when one is struggling at school he goes out his way to try and help with the situation realizing that he is causing the same problems his father had. Steve is an actor I never really enjoyed watching and he does good enough job that really works as a parent.



Mary Steenburgen: Karen is Gil’s wife who supports the way he goes around raising the kids but is always wanting to increase the size of the family. Mary gives a good supporting performance.

Dianne Wiest: Helen is the sister of Gil and single mother of two very different children with older problems compared too Gil’s. she has been trying her hardest to raise them both while trying to move on with her life. Dianne could have easily been the main character and is much more interesting character to watch.

Jason Robards: Frank is the father of the whole group who hasn’t raised his kids the way he would have liked, he has to turn to Gil for advice on handling a problem with Larry his youngest. Jason does a good performance showing he knows he own mistakes.

Rick Moranis: Nathan is the brother in law who wants to raise his little girl in a way to educate her his own way, he has distanced her from any other kids making it difficult for her to socialized. Rick does give us a good performance and clashes against Martin’s well.

Support Cast: Parenthood has a huge supporting cast that all deliver well, I think Keanu Reeves really is the stand out performer of the film.

Director Review: Ron HowardRon does a good job in this directing job but I do think he is better at the serious films.

Comedy: Parenthood does a few moments of comedy but not enough for my liking.

Settings: Parenthood shows very realistic home environment that all works for how the story is being told.

Suggestion: Parenthood is one to try, I do think it could be slightly too long and could have more laughs. (Try It)

Best Part: Keanu Reeves shines as the dumb boyfriend/husband.

Worst Part: Too Long.

Funniest Scene: Most of Reeves scenes.

Believability: These could all be real situations for families.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.

Box Office: $100 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline:  It could happen to you.

Overall: Solid enough story that seems to get stuck into the idea of being a comedy



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