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Parenthood

1989 Comedy Drama

This feel-good ensemble comedy tracks a quartet of suburban siblings and their families over the course of a single summer. Hardworking Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) and his stay-at-home wife, Karen (Mary Steeenburgen), have just a few months to help their oldest son, Kevin (Jasen Fisher), overcome his high-strung behavior problems before he'll be relegated to special-education classes. Gil's difficult relationship with his own father, Frank (Jason Robards), has led him to become a would-be super-dad for his three kids, so he takes his son's difficulties more than a little personally. Gil's sister, Helen (Dianne Wiest), is trying to raise a moody, adolescent son (Leaf Phoenix) and an independent-minded daughter (Martha Plimpton) with no help from her well-off ex-husband, who's more interested in his new wife and family. Gil and Helen's sister, Susan (Harley Jane Kozak), meanwhile, must participate in the too-scripted Big Life Plans of her anal-retentive husband, Nathan (Rick Moranis), whose overachiever zeal infects even their toddler daughter. When long-lost brother Larry (Tom Hulce) show up with yet another get-rich-quick scheme, he brings with him a surprise addition to the family. Screenwriters Babaloo Mandel, Lowell Ganz, and Ron Howard negotiate their varied subplots with a deftness and comedic touch that transforms this conflicted clan into a suburban everyfamily. more..

Director: Ron Howard

Starring: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards,Rick Moranis

Reviews

  • Ron Howard's Parenthood is a delicate balancing act between comedy and truth, a movie that contains a lot of laughter and yet is more concerned with character than punch lines.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    26 April 2013

  • Parenthood, heartfelt and howlingly comic, also comes spiced with risk and mischief. Just when you fear the movie might be swept away on a tidal wave of wholesomeness, a line, a scene or a performance poke through to restore messy, perverse reality.

    - Rolling Stone

    26 April 2013

  • Funny, gritty, filled with surprising stabs of feeling, Parenthood is a stretch for Ron Howard, its director. This new adult comedy has the generosity of "Cocoon" and "Splash," but it takes Howard into deeper, darker, messier territory.

    Jay Carr - The Boston Globe

    26 April 2013

  • Ron Howard's first-rate dramatic comedy Parenthood, with Steve Martin headlining a first-rate cast in a most clever script about the joy and pain of being both a parent and a child.

    Gene Siskel - The Chicago Tribune

    26 April 2013

  • While Parenthood crosses the border into schmaltz a number of times, the movie runs the gamut of realistic emotions, and one scene or another is bound to hit home with the parents who see the film.

    - TV Guide

    26 April 2013

Awards

  • Top Box Office Films

    ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards (1990)

  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    Academy Awards (1990)

     
  • Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

    American Comedy Awards (1990)

  • Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy

    Casting Society of America (1990)

  • Best Original Song - Motion Picture

    Golden Globes (1990)