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Parenthood
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Customer Reviews:

  • Steve Martin at his best
    I really liked this movie. I liked the performances of all the actors. The movie
    is extremly funny. Lots of good real life lessons for parents if you pay attention.
    One of my favorite movies....more info
  • Steve Martin is always good for a laugh
    Steve Martin is funny and most of his work is entertaining.
    This is a good comedy. You don't have to think about it, just
    enjoy it.
    ...more info
  • Love it at any age!
    This film came out when I was still in High School. I absolutely loved it then. Now, as a parent, it make's me cry and laugh even harder. My parent's even love it from both parental and grandparent views. It has passed the generation and the evolution of one's self, test. I give it 5 stars for sure!...more info
  • One of the best films on family
    It's rare to see a movie that has so much humor and so much heart, that balances comedy so well with drama and also gives us a cast of characters whom we truly care about, perhaps because their struggles are so like our own. The movie deals with parents trying to raise "normal" kids and discovering that oftentimes, the best thing to do is to let go.

    Steve Martin especially shines as Gil Buckman, father of three who is trying to be the perfect family man and career man. He has a wry sense of humor but also worries constantly about his kids, especially his older son, who is overly sensitive and has self-esteem issues. Gil's two sisters, Helen and Susan, also have their share of difficulties. Helen's husband divorced her years ago, and she's now raising, on her own, a teenage daughter who is caught up in young love to a man with few future prospects and a teenage son who is troubled and withdrawn. Susan, on the other hand, seems happily married, though her husband's obsessive behavior is getting to her; they have one very young daughter, whom he is trying to turn into a genius by teaching her square roots and Eastern philosophy.

    All of this the movie handles with poignancy and hilarity. Parenthood is truly a satisfying film from start to end....more info
  • Parenthood: have enjoyed both the movie and the experience!
    I enjoyed this movie when it first came out and it is still one that I like to watch periodically (which is why I owned it on VHS and now on DVD). The cast is great, the performaces good (despite that one over-the-top Steve Martin scene)and it is generally a joy to watch.
    Like the experience of being a parent, it has both high and low moments. At times thought provoking, "Parenthood" strikes a good emotional balance....more info
  • Delightful
    This is certainly an underrated classic. This is a funny yet serious look at several generations of parents and the challenges of bringing up kids. It is a witty and well written brilliant comedy with an endearing storyline. The all-star cast is superb and blend well into their roles. I can't really single out one actor, they are all great to watch. If you're a seasoned parent (or not) you should watch Parenthood, perhaps own the DVD to watch occassionally....more info
  • Who couldn't relate?!
    Parenthood is a funny, touching film. I'm not a big Steve Martin fan but he does a wonderful job in this movie, capturing the loving family man who finds himself dealing with issues relating to work and family. Actually, all the actors do a great job in portraying their roles.

    Even if you are not from a large family you can find something to relate to, since the focus is on the variety of personalities and issues that can come up in anyone's life....more info

  • Excellent Movie
    This movie is fantastic. Director Ron Howard has assembled an all-star cast in this comedy / drama. Steve Martin turns in a brilliant performance. This movie shold be seen by everyone. Special features on this disc will include:Art Imitating Life /Family Reunion /Words and Music/Theatrical Trailer ...more info
  • A quiet comedy about a dysfunctional family
    This has always been a favorite movie of mine, though I can't point to a particular reason why. It's a star-studded "sleeper" film, a quiet film, filled with hilarious comedy and family dysfunction. Frank Buckman (the fantastic Jason Robards) and Marilyn Buckman (Eileen Ryan, mother to Sean and Chris Penn) are the patriarch and matriarch of the Buckman clan. They have four adult children; Gil Buckman (Steve Martin), Helen Buckman-Lampkin (amazing Diane Wiest), Susan Buckman-Huffner (Harley Jane Kozak) and youngest Larry Buckman (Tom Hulce). Living with Frank and Marilyn is Grandma (my favorite character, played by Helen Shaw).

    Gil is married to Karen (Mary Steenburgen) and they have three children, Kevin, Taylor, and Justin. Kevin has emotional problems and the school wants to put him in special ed. Justin, only three, likes to butt things with his head. Gil is an uptight businessman who thinks his father was a bad father and worries that Kevin is just like him.

    Helen Buckman is divorced with two children, teenager Julie (Martha Plimpton) and young Gary (a very young Joaquin Phoenix). Julie is in love with Tod (a young Keanu Reeves) whom Helen disapproves of, and Gary is withdrawn, always walking around with a paper bag. Their father has started a new life and is totally uninvolved with the family.

    Susan Buckman-Huffner is married to Nathan Huffner (the great Rick Moranis), and they have one daughter, three year old Patti. Nathan is raising Patti as a genius daughter, educating her in math, foreign language, great literature, etc. Susan once agreed with Nathan on how to raise children, but she worries that Patti isn't socialized and also wants another baby.

    Larry Buckman, the youngest, is an addicted gambler. He's always got get-rich-quick schemes running, but passes himself off to his father as a real go-getter. He arrives home and to the surprise of everyone brings a young child with him, named Cool, which he just found out was his son only a few months ago. But Larry has stepped over the line and has loan sharks chasing him, threatening to kill him if he doesn't come up with their money.

    From the very beginning of the movie the family dysfunction is obvious. Each family has their own problems they have to deal with. It's the realistic problems and the realistic way they are dealt with that makes the movie interesting. The acting is superb, and director Ron Howard does a perfect job. This quiet, character-driven comedy is nonetheless a roller coaster ride of emotion that never slows down. Though not action or adventure, it manages to be a riveting film that captures your attention and holds onto it. Throughout it all, the entire family manages to maintain their love for everyone, and the movie culminates in a rather sappy but appropriate ending.

    Like I said, I can't really explain the reason I like this movie so much (especially me, a horror fan) but the quality of the film is undeniable. Quirky one-liners and the tragedy/comedy mixture makes a very enjoyable story. Worth a purchase, even for fans of other genres. Enjoy!
    ...more info
  • A Brilliant Comedy on the Joys and Woes of Family Life
    This 1989 comedy directed by Ron Howard and written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, is one of Steve Martin's crowning achievements. A very sensitive and well written comedy on the ups and downs of family life.

    The film follows the lives of two married sisters and their families. Steve Martin and Rick Moranis play their husbands who each face a different crisis in their domestic affairs. Steve Martin is uptight about his childrens' failings and is worried about his ever-shrinking family budget. Rick Moranis plays an even more anal-rententive character who, despite his wife's pleas, doesn't want to have another child for fear that it will diminish his only daughter's phenomenal intellectual growth. Jason Robards plays the grandfather who has his own issues to resolve with his impulsive and reckless son (Tom Hulce: W.A. Mozart from 'Amadeus.')

    Again, this is a very well done film which touches upon normally very dramatic or emotional subjects with clever and elegant humor. The film warms the heart and inspires the soul. A great movie to watch over and over again by the entire family....more info
  • Satisfied customer

    Great movie delivered on time and in promised condition (and sold for a reasonable price). ...more info
  • "No widescreen", "NO SALE"!!!!!
    This is such a good film that ranks in the top five of Steve Martin films, with such a great supporting cast and a truly original and funny screenplay for them to work with, it just seems a shame that we the consumer had to wait more than a decade for a "Pan-Scan" DVD release of this great family film, I'm sure alot of people would agree with me that it's like watching 1/2 of the original movie. I hope the distributer of this DVD gets copies of all these reviews and then thinks twice about the next movie he "butchers" by releasing it in a "Pan-Scan" format on a DVD because he just lost a lot of sales due to the lack of a widescreen version of this DVD and "I am sad to say I'm one of those lost sales"....more info
  • Very Good now
    When I first saw this movie about 7 years ago I did not like it. I did not get why it was so funny back then and thought it all rather sad.
    But I tried and it was worth it! It is sometimes very gripping in what happens in the lives of people, though it is sometimes a little exaggerated, like in an Irving book.

    It is also funny. The things that happen in itself are hilarious, and sometimes also there are some funny things interspersed ("Take Grandma away from the Nintendo").

    The part of Keanu Reeves is also interesting. He plays a dumb guy like in Bill and Ted's excellent adventure. There is a touching scene where he talks to his wife's mother about her son's masturbation ("That's why little dude's do"). Even though he is the stupidest, he has the best advice.

    Tom Hulce is brilliant as the youngest gambler son. The dad, useless in the beginning, now finally realized what he has to do.

    It is a funny movie and sometimes touching. One of the better Steve Martin movies....more info

  • Why screw up such a great movie with a pan/scan DVD?
    It is unacceptable, in 2004, to have any film released on DVD without a widescreen version at least on the other side of the disc. Shameful. This is such a great film. But remember, you're only seeing about 2/3rds of it since the studio chopped off the left and right sides for you.
    Totally unacceptable. Please do not buy this disc. Perhaps that will motive the studio to release the film in its original theatrical aspect ratio so we can actually see the whole thing....more info
  • "You worry too much..."
    Parenthood starring Steve Martin and an all-star cast is still one of my favorite films. And finally this movie is available on widescreen, which is the best way to watch a gem like this. I have seen this movie about a 1,000 times and I never get sick of it. Some funny and touching moments from Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Weist, Jason Robards, Keanu Reeves and Leaf Phoenix who later changed his name to Joaquin. Directed and co-written by Ron Howard, this is defintely one of his best films to date, and hey look for his brother Clint who pops up in the middle of the film. Parenthood has heart all the way. I highly recommend this family comedy/drama out. Enjoy!...more info
  • Overpriced, no-frills DVD of a wonderful movie
    This is a wonderful, heartwarming film that always manages to make me laugh AND cry....that's why I wanted to own a copy. Unfortunately, the DVD lacks any special features to enhance it (especially frustrating since it's a comparatively expensive one!). How tough would it have been for Ron Howard, Steve Martin or any of the supporting cast to offer a commentary track?

    That's why I'd recommend it as a rental only. Dianne Wiest and Helen Shaw deliver exceptional performances...Steve Martin's at his most charming...the child actors are superior and it's one of Mary Steenburgen's best performances....more info

  • Not in "Widescreen?"
    This is one of my top twenty movies of all time. It isn't in wide screen format? What were they thinking? I'll never buy it unless they release it in widescreen! A Ron Howard masterwork wasted......more info
  • Widescreen at last!!!
    I can't even begin to count how many movies I've seen in my life, but if I were forced to write down a "Top 10" list -- the movies that have most moved me, changed me, or simply delighted me no matter how many times I've seen them -- it would include "The Godfather," "Casablanca," "The Graduate," and "Parenthood" (and six others). For some reason everything in this movie seems to work; the alternately funny and heartbreaking -- and always insightful -- screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel ("Splash," "City Slickers," "A League of Their Own"), the crisp direction by Ron Howard, and the uniformly sterling performances by Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, and others (yes, even Keanu Reeves). Even after repeated viewings, I always laugh, cry, and come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the never-ending roller-coaster ride of parenthood. (By the way, Steve Martin's reply to Grandma's "roller-coaster" speech has to be one of the all-time funniest movie punchlines.) I enjoyed this movie thoroughly when I was single, and even more with three kids of my own. And now, after many years in which only a lousy pan-and-scan DVD of this great film was available, someone finally had the sense to release it in widescreen! If you've never seen this one, you've got a treat waiting for you. ...more info
  • Full Screen misses almost 50% of the original shot
    What the hell are full screen releases doing by themselves. Even with a small TV I still prefer to watch widescreen. This movie came out in the 90's. Not only is there no reason as to why the Widesceen release is non-existent but there is also no reason why there is not a Dolby 5.1 track available.
    When will the studios wake up and realize that more and more people OF EVERY age are buying home theatre systems. WAKE UP!
    Here is a copy of a review I agree with:-
    It is unacceptable, in 2004, to have any film released on DVD without a widescreen version at least on the other side of the disc. Shameful. This is such a great film. But remember, you're only seeing about 2/3rds of it since the studio chopped off the left and right sides for you.
    Totally unacceptable. Please do not buy this disc. Perhaps that will motive the studio to release the film in its original theatrical aspect ratio so we can actually see the whole thing....more info
  • A superb cast elevates this rather heavy handed vehicle...
    Ron Howard is the undisputed king of schmaltz; I mean, seriously, does he do anything other than feel good heart tuggers? `Parenthood' was one of his earlier successes, and its easy to see why it was so well loved. You have a group of very talented actors weaving together a touching story about family and love and togetherness and it's presented with a shiny red bow that will make your eyes glisten with anticipation.

    Yes, this movie is very likable.

    You have Gil, who was never really loved by his father, who is trying to wrap his head around the concept that his son may need psychological counseling. His sister Helen is raising her two children on her own and is having quite a bit of trouble with her boy crazy teenage daughter and her reclusive pre-teen son. Their sister Susan is married to a man who is so controlling and precise that its driving her crazy, not to mention stunting their young daughters ability to interact with children her own age. Then you have their `black sheep' younger brother Larry who just showed up back in town with an illegitimate child he just found out he had and a gambling debt that is through the roof. Despite their very different circumstances, each sibling is just trying to be the best parent they can be (well, maybe not Larry, but his story has another arc).

    The good things about this movie lie within the wonderfully charming performances by the entire cast, Wiest and Martin shining as beacons amidst a cast of very talented actors. As Gil, Steve Martin is wonderfully sincere, playing the `real' father with such believability, not to mention likeability. He makes such a nice dad, you just want to wrap your arms around him and tell him he's doing a good job. Dianne Wiest is marvelous as single parent Helen, weaving masterfully in and out of emotional outbursts and emotional breakdowns. She is so wonderfully charismatic and comedic gold, I seriously think she may be the greatest supporting actress working today. Rick Moranis has a nice turn here as the controlling Nathan, and Jason Robards is marvelous as the family patriarch Frank, who slowly is learning himself how to be a father. I was also very impressed with young Joaquin Phoenix (here going by the name Leaf) who plays Helen's young son Garry.

    The entire cast is wonderful here though, everyone from Tom Hulce to Mary Steenburgen to Harley Jane Kozak; even Keanu Reeves turns in a decently comedic performance as the boneheaded, yet deep hearted Tod.

    The film falls short in some other areas though, areas that may not be so noticeable right off the bat. The film is very heavy handed (Howard's specialty), and while I've always said that if anyone can pull off heavy handed it is Ron Howard, I must admit that sometimes he can lather it on too much. In recent years he has perfected his heavy hand, so that he can serve us syrup that goes down like water (just watch `Cinderella Man' and tell me it isn't easy to swallow despite the fact that it is emotional gravy) but `Parenthood' is not a recent effort and so it lacks the technique that Howard has perfected over the years. There is just so much `drama' going on in one family that it comes off rather forced at times, especially when you take a second to breath it all in. Another issue I had was the fact that the film reaches its crescendo of `drama' and then jumps ahead to a happy ending without ever really explaining how they got there. You know that they are trying and you know basically what they are planning to do to fix things, but they never show this take place. They bring you to the breaking point and then flash forward to the solution. I've seen this done in other films and it's always a slight disappointment.

    These few issues shouldn't keep you away from this film, but they do hold the film back from really being everything it could have been. See the movie for its charm and for the dynamic performance by Martin and Wiest (so glad she was Oscar nominated for this) but don't expect a film to break the mold here. It is bedded down by clich¨¦s and oppressed by the weight of Howard's directorial hand, but its good, clean fun that is sure to entertain none-the-less....more info
  • One of the best comedies ever made
    This movie is brilliant. There is not a single weak point in it. It manages to be incredibly about life, yet insanely funny at the same time. It is one of the best comedies ever made, up there with Ghostbusters....more info
  • Parenthood
    I love this movie. What a great story of life. Funny and heartwarming!!!...more info
  • Good fun, even more now having kids
    This is a fabulous film. Steve Martin is great, but so is the rest of the fantastic cast. There are great laugh out loud moments and the film has a ig heart that makes the movie great to watch over and over....more info
  • nice
    this movie was great because it dealt with 'the family', with life, as something messy. it felt more real to me than other movies dealing with the same material because it was almost dark for a family movie. don't get me wrong... it's not at all depressing or dystopian, but it isn't the typical disney 'it's all flowers and sunshine' either. it dealt with (granted) stereotypical problems parents and children face. because all of the families in the movie were related we got to see a bunch of different types of family dynamics, and it was also interesting to note that they interacted normally with each other, even though we the viewers know they all have their problems. there was the single mother who had the two teenage children, so we get to see hormonal problems there. one of those kids has a boyfriend whom she marries early, though they're still high school aged. there is the stereotypical tv family with the early middle aged couple who have three young kids. steve martin's the dad in this one so they're kind of the focus family (also because that's the stereotypical family) and they have trouble with their eldest son who has emotional problems. then there is the child prodigy family, the guy puts everything into making his little kid a genius and ignores his wife, and finally the grandparents who have to deal with one of their kids coming home with a grandchild they've never seen before and a son in debt.

    big schpeal aside... because the movie addresses actual lows that families go through instead of just supposing those issues and not actually addressing them, the highs they go through are that much more believable. and the roller coaster metaphor at the end of the movie was nice too. at the end they accepted the chaos and tried to make the best of it, which was nice.

    i have to be in the mood for it, and when i am this is one of my favourite movies....more info
  • Parenthood
    I really enjoyed this movie. You can't miss with a Ron Howard film. It's a great story for the family. The all star cast adds to the enjoyment. ...more info
  • Cast Extraordinaire
    Steve Martin is a favorite among those of my generation who remember his antics on Saturday Night Live. My god, what a nut he was to behold. He has largely been a disappointment since his early years, maturing into a kind of Gregory Peck comic of decency and good will. This film is a surprise because Martin is joined by a team of incredible actors, possibly unrivaled in modern cinema. Dianne Wiest, a favorite of Woody Allen's, is very good here, giving a performance of dramatic strength and comic timing. There is an odd appearance of a very young Keanu Reeves at one extreme of the generational gap, and Jason Robards, who takes up the other end. He is a very impressive and commanding grandfather. Tom Hulce brings up the rear in a major part, playing a gambler and loser, whose addiction and cynicism is painful but honest. Overall, this is a comic film made by a group of Hollywood parents who evidently wanted to say something about their lives. Martin has been pushing parenthood for quite a while, as has director Ron Howard. I guess it is OK for actors to be artistically talented and responsible family advocates. This film shows that the Hollywood stereotype of "Mommie Dearest" is no longer valid. ...more info
  • Took itself way to seriously.
    This movie looked really funny in the trailers...I found, however, that most of the funnier scenes were already shown in the trailers show there wasn't much else to see. All the funny stuff happens within the first 10 or so minutes into this one and after that there are just one or two more laughs scattered here and there. For the most part I found this movie way to serious, and it wasn't entertaining to me. I can see how others can relate to it, but I am a single guy with no kids or girlfriend...so I cannot really relate to it. If you are a parent though it might be worth your while to ignore this review and go ahead and watch the movie....more info