IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.
One of the director’s most beloved films is a drama-comedy that feels genuine and relevant precisely because it was conceived by him and the writing duo who all poured their combined rich experiences of being parents into the script. The conflicts that the Buckman family are going through feel believable and engaging; only a parent can relate to Jason Robards’s painful relationship with his ne’er-do-well son (Tom Hulce). Ron Howard skilfully holds all the storylines together; the dialogue is funny and the movie avoids the worst sentimental traps. Great ensemble cast, with a perfect leading role for Steve Martin as the sales executive who finds himself under tons of pressure.
1989-U.S. 124 min. Color. Produced by Brian Grazer. Directed by Ron Howard. Screenplay: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel. Song: ”I Love to See You Smile” (Randy Newman). Cast: Steve Martin (Gil Buckman), Mary Steenburgen (Karen Buckman), Dianne Wiest (Helen Buckman), Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, Tom Hulce… Keanu Reeves, Joaquin Phoenix.
Trivia: Dan Aykroyd, Michael Keaton and Tom Hanks were allegedly considered for the lead. Later two TV series, one in 1990-1991, and another in 2010-2015.
Last word: “Early on in my career, when I had basically been a sitcom actor for all of these years and I made my first movies and they were comedies and they were successes, it was very important for me to stretch, and ‘Parenthood’ was one of those films. Even though it was a comedy, there was a great deal of authentic drama in the piece as well.” (Howard, Collider)