Movies About Parenthood

5 films that portray truths and humor about childrearing

One of the most rewarding things about parenting is living through the hectic, zany, funny, unpredictable, and sometimes sorrowful things that can happen in a family. Most parents can relate well to such scenes depicted onscreen, as many have lived them in real life. Here are a few favorite movies that depict the parenting experience.

Parenthood (1989)

Starring one of American’s favorite comedic actors, Steve Martin, Parenthood was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ron Howard. Perhaps the most belovedly real portrayal of family life to ever appear in theaters, this film shows many of the truths and dilemmas faced by parents of all personality types and family situations. This is a charming film that can be understood and appreciated by parents and children alike.

Finding Nemo (2003)

All parents fear for their children, and few can even imagine the horror of a child disappearing. In Finding Nemo, Disney deals with every parent’s nightmare in a humorous, touching and sympathetic story about a fish that traveled too far from home. Voiced by actors such as Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, Finding Nemo is a film about parenting that is both visually and emotionally compelling.

My Life (1993)

Perhaps the saddest film on the list, My Life, starring Michael Keaton, does not sugar coat the impending death of a parent. In this film, a terminally ill man films the events of his life so that his child will have a record of what he was like long after he is gone. A real tear jerker, this film may be a bit too intense for very young viewers, but parents are sure to relate to the sorrow of knowing that your child will be raised without you around. Even though the film is melodramatic at times, all adult viewers with young children can understand the main character’s attempt to capture his essence for posterity.

Life As We Know It (2010)

A recent comedy, Life as we Know it tackles parenting from a new angle. In this film, two single people — portrayed by Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel — are tasked with raising the orphaned child of mutual friends that have been killed in an accident. Hilarity ensues as this unlikely parenting couple try to navigate the new life with baby … and each other.

Father of the Bride (1991)

A remake of the old Spencer Tracy classic, Father of the Bride is the second film on the list featuring Steve Martin. This comedy portrays every father’s feeling that he is “losing” a daughter when she marries. This film — rated PG — is great for all ages.

There have been films about parenting for as long as there have been movies. Filmmakers have always tried — and will continue to try — to portray and analyze the most fulfilling and bittersweet of all our relationships.

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