Parenthood

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Released 1989

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Movie Summary

Director:
Ron Howard
Released:
1989
Rating:
PG-13

Parenthood is director Ron Howard's 1989 dramatic comedy chronicling the family life of Karen (Mary Steenburgen) and Gil Buckman (Steve Martin). The couple struggles to rear their three, soon to be four, children in metro St. Louis, Missouri. If Gil's sales job is not stressful enough to drive him to the psychologist, his son Kevin's (Jasen Fisher) behavioral issues at school and the task of raising Taylor (Alisan Porter) and Justin (Zachary Lavoy) may be. Gil's toughest challenge is avoiding his father Frank's (Jason Robards) parental flaw: a nearly single-minded focus on the office. Parenthood's star-filled cast includes Gil's sister Helen (Diane Wiest), whom fans of Law and Order will recognize, and a very young Keanu Reeves as Helen's new son-in-law. Gil Buckman faces an uphill battle juggling the competing responsibilities of career and home while hopefully avoiding a failed marriage like Helen's. Yet, he faces the adversity head on with tenacity and charm.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

  • 80

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Ron Howard's bittersweet adult comedy, Parenthood, lays out an entire catalogue of psychological stresses afflicting family life in white middle-class America, then asks if the rew...

  • 80

    Variety

    An ambitious, keenly observed, and often very funny look at one of life's most daunting passages, Parenthood's masterstroke is that it covers the range of the family experience, of...

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    Comedy

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    Family Comedies