Having grown up in the 1980s, I still have fond memories of the movies I watched and loved during that decade. With Father's Day just around the corner, let's look back at those films to discuss some of the most memorable fathers.
Paul Dooley in "Sixteen Candles"
Dooley has played many fathers in movies, like this and "Breaking Away," but his performance as Jim Baker is the most enduring. This is especially the case with the scene he has with daughter Sam, played by Molly Ringwald. The whole family has forgotten about Sam's 16th birthday because her sister is getting married, and her dad is the first to apologize.
Jim also commiserates with Sam over the crush she has on Jake (Michael Schoeffling). When the new 16-year-old says how much the longing hurts, Jim gives her a wonderful piece of wisdom:
"That's why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they'd call them something else."
Bill Cosby in "Bill Cosby, Himself"
One of the great all-time standup comedy movies, Cosby's meditations on family and raising children remain as true as ever. Whether he's talking about why he and his wife have only five children (because they did not want six) or his reasoning for serving kids chocolate cake for breakfast, this is the kind of humor that never grows old.
Cosby also forever demystifies how the dad is the king of the household for the falsehood it always was: "I am not the boss of my house. I don't know how I lost it. I don't know where I lost it. I don't think I ever had it. But I've seen the boss's job -- and I don't want it."
As Sgt. Roger Murtaugh, Glover is such a hoot to watch in the first installment and the sequels that followed. Seeing him try to balance family life with being a cop (let alone one with a crazy partner, courtesy of Mel Gibson's unbalanced Riggs) made for some brilliant moments.
Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg in "Three Men and a Baby"
Technically only one of the three men above is the actual father of the baby left on their doorstep, but long before the movie's end all three guys have gained an undying paternal love for her. Seeing them transition from freewheeling bachelors to responsible and loving parents is a testament to the actors and the excellent directing of Leonard Nimoy.
The scene where Selleck and Guttenberg fumble about while putting a diaper on the baby is still hilarious to watch.
Rodney Dangerfield in "Back To School"
This turned out to be Dangerfield's best movie, balancing his sarcastic wit with playing a character more vulnerable than any he played previously. As the wealthy but uneducated Thornton Melon, he enrolls at his son Jason's college to keep him from dropping out.
Granted, Thornton doesn't always come across as the perfect father. He hires people to do his homework, but there is no doubt of the love he has for Jason. Seeing them take the time to listen to each other's advice also makes their relationship seem all the more genuine.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Family & Relationships
- Bill Cosby
- Paul Dooley