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Parenthood (1989)

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The Buckmans are a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

Lowell Ganz (story), Babaloo Mandel (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,798 ( 135)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Gil
Mary Steenburgen ... Karen
Dianne Wiest ... Helen
Jason Robards ... Frank
Rick Moranis ... Nathan
Tom Hulce ... Larry
Martha Plimpton ... Julie
Keanu Reeves ... Tod
Harley Jane Kozak ... Susan (as Harley Kozak)
Dennis Dugan ... David Brodsky
Joaquin Phoenix ... Garry (as Leaf Phoenix)
Eileen Ryan ... Marilyn
Helen Shaw Helen Shaw ... Grandma
Jasen Fisher ... Kevin
Paul Linke ... George Bowman
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Storyline

The story of the Buckman family and friends, attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the "black sheep" of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It could happen to you. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Todo en la familia See more »

Filming Locations:

Orlando, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,506,450, 28 May 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,047,830
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were two attempts to adapt this movie into a TV series. The first ran for only twelve episodes during 1990-1991. Although the characters all retained their names from the film, all actors but a handful of the children were recast; the adult leads were Ed Begley Jr. and Jayne Atkinson as Gil and Karen Buckman, and the show provided an early role for the then-teenaged Leonardo DiCaprio as Garry Buckman (the role originally played by Leaf / Joaquin Phoenix). The second TV series was a looser adaptation (for example, the main family's last name was changed to "Braverman") and much more successful than the first; it started in 2010, ran for six seasons, and starred Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, and Dax Shepard. See more »

Goofs

When Kevin catches the ball near the end, the same audio of both boys falling and groaning was edited in twice. See more »

Quotes

Susan Buckman Merrick: [after breaking the lock on Gary's bedroom door and searching it, Helen finds some sex tapes and plays one - graphic sex sounds from the television as Susan and Grandma enter the room] Helen? Oh, the door was unlocked.
[sees the sex action on the television]
Grandma: What channel is this?
Helen: No Gran, this is a tape.
Grandma: [to Susan] She needs a man... Now!
Helen: Gran, this isn't mine. I don't watch this!
Grandma: [to Susan again as they are leaving the room and speaking of the sex action on the television] One of those men ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits: "Caution: Inhaling of helium from balloons is dangerous, and can cause serious injury or death." See more »


Soundtracks

Close To You
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding!
20 April 2003 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful film that takes full advantage of both a great script and an outstanding cast. It shows, with equal measure, the joys and pain of parenting. We see great examples of dysfunction and love. It is sentimental, but not to the point of being unreal.

Steve Martin gives a tremendous performance as a father, who wants to be everything that he feels his father wasn't: loving, caring, and involved in his children's lives in a positive manner. He is torn between his duties as a provider and the need to be there for his children. Mary Steenburgen is wonderful, as always, as a devoted wife and mother. She tries to keep her family on an even keel and to soothe their anxieties, her husband included. She conveys so much with just body language and has a smile that seems to come from her soul. Jason Robards is his usual powerful self, as the patriarch who made himself a success, but at the expense of his family. He recognizes his mistakes and finds a chance to make some amends in his twilight years.

Diana Weist is the single mother, trying to provide for her troubled children, and find some life for herself. She wants to give her kids what they want, but is torn between giving to them and watching them make mistakes. Rick Moranis is the parent who wants their child to succeed, to the point of smothering their childhood. He wants the best for his child, but fails to see that childhood should be as much about play and new experiences, as it is about education. His wife wants the same, but wants their daughter to be a little girl, too. She also wants another child, but feels that she is alone in this area and is losing her husband. Tom Hulce is the irresponsible, youngest sibling, who has run off whenever things have become too tough. Things get tough when you are a parent, and he stays true to form.

The young actors are all tremendously talented and the little ones are quite cute. It is no surprise that these performances are so good, given that the director was a child actor himself. Ron Howard really knows how to bring the best out of young actors, as well as their adult counterparts.

There is so much to savor in this film. There are great laughs and touching moments. There is drama and satire. There is the joy of watching great character actors display their craft. There are the clearly defied roles, with great complexity, that are easy to identify with.

This is a film that all parents should see. Kids should see this, when they are old enough to understand the sacrifices that their parents make for them and why they make the decisions that they do. Parenting: it's the toughest job you'll ever love!


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