Saturday, June 17, 2017

But I Digress... Dad's Turn! 10 Movies to Celebrate Father's Day

By Cat

With Father’s day just right around the corner (if one could consider ‘corners’ as part of our elliptical progress around the sun every day), I’ve compiled a Top 10 list of movies for you that shine a light on the elements of fatherhood.

Understandably, not everyone has a father actively in their lives. Step-dads and adoptive fathers are every bit as important (and some would argue doubly so, but that’s really on a case by case basis… but I digress…). Father-figures count, too! Whoever fills those shoes for you (even if it’s a single mom or a fur-parent) this is their day to be celebrated. 

As an aside, I’ve been readying my eye-rolling for the trolls marching across social media with their picket-sign memes metaphorically shaking their fists in the air at those they feel are undeserving of holiday celebration. My answer to that? Are the people you’re protesting coming over to your house and demanding you give them breakfast in bed, a BBQ, a beer, and a card? No? Then get over it. (I found so many salty memes while looking for interesting graphics to use with this article. So. Much. Bitter. Salt.)

My little soapbox rant aside, I’ve curated a list of 10 movies for you full of action, comedy, adventure, heartwarming moments, some dysfunctional moments (cause nobody’s perfect, right?), a dash of romance, dramatic flair, and thrills. Most of these movies should be family friendly in varying degrees. I’ve had a lot of fun putting together these holiday-themed Digressions. I hope you enjoy them!

10) Mr. Mom (1983)


Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, YouTube (purchase), Hulu, Vudu, EPIX Subscription, Xfinity Subscription
Director: Stan Dragoti
Actors: Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Ann Jillian, Frederick Koehler, Taliesin Jaffe, Courtney White, Martin Mull, Jeffrey Tambor
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG
More Information Here.

Blurb: After he's laid off, a husband switches roles with his wife. She returns to the workforce and he becomes a stay-at-home dad - a job he has no clue how to do.

I realize I am seriously dating myself, here. That aside, the 80's were awesome for both movies and music. This was one of the cinematic gems of the era that became a cultural touchstone. I haven't heard a Mr. Mom reference in quite a while, though; but that can easily be attributed to how far we've come since this movie was made. Technology is light-years ahead from the corded landline phones and stay-at-home dads are more commonplace. There's less stigma attached to the house-husband than in the more macho fueled time-frame presented here. Just think of it as a bit of a time capsule. It's still hilarious.

9) RV (2006)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), Vudu, BestBuy CinemaNow, iTunes, Xfinity Subscription
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Actors: Robin Williams, Jeff Daniels, Cheryl Hines, Kristin Chenoweth, Joanna "JoJo" Levesque, Josh Hutcherson, Will Arnett, Hunter Parrish
Genre: Comedy, Family, Adventure
Rated: PG
More Information Here.

Blurb: Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.

I've doubled-down on Robin Williams (Happy Feet, Night at the Museum, Lee Daniels' The Butler) in this list. He brings so much to his fatherly roles in addition to the funny antics he's known so well for. This movie is on my 'want to watch' list - maybe I will this weekend! The trailers are hilarious and this seems like a great movie for getting everyone in a fun mood.

8) Father of the Bride (1991)

Viewing Options: Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), Vudu
Director: Charles Shyer
Actors: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kieran Culkin, George Newbern, Martin Short, BD Wong, Peter Michael Goetz
Genre: Comedy, Family, Romance
Rated: PG
More Information Here.

Blurb: With his oldest daughter's wedding approaching, a father finds himself reluctant to let go.

This Steve Martin (Cheaper by the Dozen, Shopgirl, Home) classic is a wild ride of hilarity as this father has trouble letting go of his 'baby girl' now that she's all grown up and wanting to start a family of her own. I love the misadventures that invariably come part and parcel with Martin's movies. Pair that with planning a wedding and one begins to question if its nuptials or a circus going on. Comedy gold.


7) Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), Vudu, BestBuy CinemaNow
Director: Chris Columbus
Actors: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein, Polly Holliday, Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, Mara Wilson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Rated: PG-13
More Information Here.

Blurb: After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife.

Here's a movie that tugs on your heartstrings at the same time it tickles your funnybone. I mean, seriously. Robin Williams in drag is almost the whole selling point. Then throw in the journey of his father character, and you have a really touching story. Besides, who doesn't have fun echoing that moment when he says: "Helloooooo!"

6) Taken (2008)

Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), Vudu, iTunes, BestBuy CinemaNow
Director: Pierre Morel
Actors: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Katie Cassidy, Holly Valance
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
More Information Here.

Blurb: A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

It's the movie that launched a thousand memes. If comedy and drama isn't your speed, check out this action thriller that shines a light on a father putting himself on the line to save his daughter. He has a special set of skills, you know.

5) The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase),  Vudu, Xfinity Subscription
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Actors: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen, Dan Castellaneta, Kurt Fuller, Takayo Fischer
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: PG-13
More Information Here.

Blurb: A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

This biopic is another that is on my list of movies to watch. I didn't get a chance when it was in theaters, so I'm, hoping to catch it as it cycles through Xfinity channels. In any case, if you're in the mood for a poignant tale that is based on a true story of a father's determination to make life better for himself and his son - this one's for you.


4) A River Runs Through It (1992)

Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), BestBuy CinemaNow, Vudu, Xfinity Subscription
Director: Robert Redford
Actors: Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Lloyd, Edie McClurg, Stephen Shellen, Nicole Burdette
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG
More Information Here.

Blurb: The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing.

Even if a drama isn't entirely your cup of tea, then perhaps the fly-fishing that this tale centers around might hook your attention. (Yes, I know. I'm not sorry. Puns are life.) I know it's a bit stereotypical to associate Dads and fishing - but it's not that far off the mark. Seriously. 95% of the dads I know love fishing. My Dad loves fishing. I used to get into his tacklebox and play with the brightly colored and sparkly fake worms and fish lures when I was little. Whenever we went to the store for him to get fishing supplies, I would get to pick out my very own fake worms to play with. (That was the incentive to stop risking getting hooked by playing with his icky used ones.) I've always been an odd duck.

3) Trouble with the Curve (2012)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), iTunes, Vudu, BestBuy CinemaNow
Director: Robert Lorenz
Actors: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard, Scott Eastwood, Joe Massingill
Genre: Drama, Sports
Rated: PG-13
More Information Here.

Blurb: A daughter tries to remedy her dysfunctional relationship with her ailing father, a decorated baseball scout by helping him in a recruiting trip which could be his last.

Here we have the combination of an iconic 'Man's Man' and and sports. I normally wouldn't associate Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Space Cowboys, Gran Torino) with baseball but I've heard so many good things about this movie. Eastwood's dry humor is amazing in the bits of dark comedy thrown in with the more serious story of a daughter trying to find connection with her father. This movie resonates a lot with me. I loved the trailers, and can't wait for when I get a chance to watch it.

2) Despicable Me (2010)

Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase), Vudu, BestBuy CinemaNow
Directors: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Actors: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Adventure
Rated: PG
More Information Here.

Blurb: When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better.

Minions. Does there really need to be any reason beyond that to watch these movies? Beyond that, the adorable and funny family movie is a tale of unconventional fatherhood. There's a plot buried under the animated shenanigans about a man's journey with adoption. The laughs are aimed at both adults and the kiddos so it's a movie everyone can enjoy! If you want to hit the theaters for a big screen experience this weekend; the 3rd installment for this franchise won't be available, unfortunately. Its release date is set for June 30th. There's still the sequel and the movie dedicated solely to the little yellow guys, though - perfect for a mini marathon!

1) Finding Nemo (2003)

Viewing Options: Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube (purchase),  Vudu, Xfinity Subscription
Director: Andrew Stanton
Actors: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Adventure
Rated: G
More Information Here.

Blurb: After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Aside from the stunning underwater animated visuals and the character shenanigans is a tale about the lengths a parent would go to for their child - specifically here, a father to save his son. (Even though we all know the movie's all about Dory, right?) This might just be the perfect movie to watch with your little fish before taking them to the pool to tire their fins out.

Regardless of how you choose to spend your weekend - whether in celebration or otherwise - be safe and enjoy time with your family and friends. Happy Father's Day to all those that fill the 'Dad shoes' out there.

But I Digress... is a weekly column for that can't be pinned down to just one thing. It's Cat's celebration of tangents, random references, and general fan geekdom that both intertwines with, revolves around, and diverges from our movie-review core. In homage to the beloved Brit comedians, we want to bring you something completely different!

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