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Top Movie Dads

June 15, 2010 1 comment

Clark GriswoldThe relationship between father and son is often celebrated in movies. There are thousands of movie moments that make you think back and reflect on a memory between you and your dad. In celebration of Father’s Day, I wanted to take a look back at some of the top movie dads. Grab a tissue, sit back and pay homage to some of the most honorable fathers to ever grace the big screen.

Now I can sit here for hours and create an endless list of great dads from movies. Most of these dads start out on the wrong foot but wind up putting family first in the end. However, in the interest of time I kept this list to just a few select dads. If you think I missed one or have a dad you’d like to nominate, leave a comment. Otherwise,  join me in paying tribute to some of the big screen’s greatest dads.

Ted Kramer, Kramer vs. Kramer – How can you not take your hat off to Ted Kramer? A workaholic who had to turn his entire life around to take care of his son after Mrs. Kramer decided to “find herself” one day. Ted sacrificed his job, his finances, and his life in order to take care of his son Billy. After losing his job he pounded the pavement and got himself a job on Christmas Eve just to save his custody hearing. How many working father’s do you know could have handled this situation as good as old Ted? I love the guy and he is number one in my book.

Gil Buckman, Parenthood – Gil like Ted Kramer was a workaholic who had an epiphany one day. Gil Buckman realizes that not only was he not being a good father, but he was repeating the habits of his own father whom he detested. With a newborn on the way and more family problems than one man should handle, Gil refocuses his life on being a better family man. He isn’t perfect, but you have to love the effort!

Michael Newman, Click. Michael Newman is another overworked dad who has put his work in front of his family. Aiming for a big promotion, Michael has sacrificed his duties at home in order to get ahead at work. Everything comes full circle for Michael when he discovers a remote control that can alter his life. Michael can go forward or back in time and look in from the outside at his own misdoings and shortcomings as a father and husband. Michael of course realizes the errors of his ways and decides to become a better father and put his focus on family over work.

Peter Mitchell and Michael Kellam, Three Men and a Baby – Peter and Michael get an unusual delivery one day. Peter and Michael open up their door to find a baby. The baby is their roommate Jack’s, but Jack is away for work. Peter and Michael, two devote bachelors now have to turn their attention from chasing women to changing baby diapers. In addition to caring for a new baby, the guys are on the run from drug dealers. Lesser men would have caved, but Peter and Michael step up and become proud fathers in the face of danger.

Jack Butler, Mr. Mom – Jack Butler’s situation is probably something that readers can relate to more today than they could in 1983. Jack is laid off from his job while Caroline becomes the sole breadwinner. Jack now becomes the stay-at-home parent, caring for their three children. Jack puts his ego aside and his family first, even rejecting a chance to go back to work and leave his children behind with a babysitter. Jack’s maternal instincts kick in throughout the movie, including playing poker for coupons. After months of turmoil and heartache, the Butlers end the movie as one happy family and Jack Butler stakes his claim to Father of the Year.

Marlin, Finding Nemo – This is a story that every parent can relate to. Marlin has trouble finding the right balance of parenting with his son Nemo. Unfortunately things go awry for the family when Nemo gets lost and Marlin organizes a search mission for his missing son. The commitment of Marlin to finding his son is second to none. Once the pair are reunited, Marlin learns to give Nemo some space and the two live happily ever after.

Daniel Hillard, Mrs. Doubtfire – Speaking of commitment, let me introduce you to Daniel Hillard. After being thrown out of the house by his wife for being a lousy father, Daniel plots to win back his family. Daniel yearns to be around his family so much that he is willing to change his life and dress like a woman to do so. Daniel is eventually exposed, but this family realize how much they miss him. After losing unsupervised visits with his children, Daniel’s ex-wife brings him back into their kid’s lives without supervision. Hey, Marlin was tough but he never put on a dress.

Walter Hobbs, Elf – Walter Hobbs is a cold, stressed, workaholic who constantly puts his career ahead of his family. Things change when Walter discovers that he is the father to an adult Elf named Buddy. Walter begrudgingly opens up his home to Buddy, showing a glimpse of a heart. Buddy does things a little differently and quickly gets on his father’s last nerve. However, Walter later realizes the error of his ways when he sticks up for his son and tells his boss to shove it. Walter wins the hearts of his family as he sings away to help Santa fix his sleigh. Walter later starts his own publishing company and releases a book about his son Buddy. In the end, Walter learns to appreciate his family and find a delicate balance of work and parenthood.

Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation – Clark Griswold is not your typical workaholic uninvolved father. Clark Griswold is a little too involved with his family. Not only does Clark Griswold want the best for his family, he is obsessed with it. Facing multiple counts of felonies for armed kidnapping, Clark stands up for what he believes in. Nothing ever starts out in Clark’s favor but in the end, his family always wind up happy which makes Clark happy. He may be nuts and a little psychotic, but Clark Griswold is one heck of a great dad!

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