Fathers. Daddies. Dad. They play such a powerful role in our lives that they’ve inspired not just us, but also many memorable movie portrayals of men who are fiercely protective, who guide, and who’d do anything for their children.
This Father’s Day (21st June 2015), forget trying to crack your head for ideas on what to get your old man. Because trust us when we say that he probably already has everything that he needs. Instead, treat yo’ Dad to some good ol’ movie time!
We’ve selected some great Father’s Day celebration-worthy flicks (some old and some new) that are our favourites, as well as some films we think your personal hero will enjoy. From comedy to action, to drama and thriller, sit back, prepare Dad’s favourite beverage, grab some snacks, and enjoy.
Psst. We’ve even managed to quietly slip in an animated film 😉
Here are our top 10 picks:
1. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
When kids sneak into inventor Wayne Szalinski’s (played by Rick Moranis) upstairs lab to retrieve an errant baseball, his experimental shrink ray miniaturizes them. When Szalinski returns home, he destroys the device – which he thinks is a failure – and dumps it in the trash, unknowingly throwing out the kids along with it. The 4 children, now 1/4-inch tall, must survive the journey back to the house through a yard where sprinklers bring treacherous storms and garden-variety ants stampede like elephants.
2. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
“Carpe dentum. Seize the teeth.”
Troubled that he has little access to his children, divorced Daniel Hillard (played by the late Robin Williams) hatches an elaborate plan. With help from his creative brother Frank (played by Harvey Fierstein), he dresses as an older British woman and convinces his ex-wife, Miranda (played by Sally Field), to hire him as a nanny. “Mrs. Doubtfire” wins over the children and helps Daniel become a better parent – but when both Daniel and his nanny persona must meet different parties at the same restaurant, his secrets may be exposed.
3. Big Daddy (1999)
“..but I wipe my own ass, I wipe my own ass!”
32-year-old Sonny Koufax (played by Adam Sandler) has spent his whole life avoiding responsibility. But when his girlfriend dumps him for an older man, he’s got to find a way to prove he’s ready to grow up. In a desperate last-ditch effort, Sonny adopts 5-year-old Julian (played by twins Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse) to impress her. She’s not impressed – and worse yet, he can’t return the kid. Uh oh for Sonny!
4. I Am Sam (2001)
“All you need is love.”
“I Am Sam” is the compelling story of Sam Dawson (played by Sean Penn), a mentally challenged father raising his daughter Lucy (played by Dakota Fanning) with the help of a unique group of friends. As Lucy turns 7 and begins to intellectually surpass her father, their close bond is threatened when their unconventional living arrangement comes to the attention of a social worker who wants Lucy placed in foster care.
5. About a Boy (2002)
A comedy-drama starring Hugh Grant as Will, a rich, child-free and irresponsible Londoner in his thirties who, in search of available women, invents an imaginary son and starts attending single parent meetings. As a result of one of his liaisons, he meets Marcus, an odd 12-year-old boy with problems at school. Gradually, Will and Marcus become friends, and as Will teaches Marcus how to be a cool kid, Marcus helps Will to finally grow up.
6. Finding Nemo (2003)
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming..”
Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin. When Nemo swims too close to the surface to prove himself, he is caught by a diver, and horrified Marlin must set out to find him. A blue reef fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) – who has a really short memory – joins Marlin and complicates the encounters with sharks, jellyfish, and a host of ocean dangers. Meanwhile, Nemo plots his escape from a dentist’s fish tank.
Psst. There’s even a sequel in the making as we speak! Exciting times ahead 😀
7. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
“You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”
Life is a struggle for single father Christopher Gardner (played by Will Smith). Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son (played by Will Smith’s real-life son Jaden Christopher Syre Smith) find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.
Fun fact: The unusual spelling of the film’s title comes from a mural that Christopher Gardner sees on the wall outside the daycare facility his son attends. He complains to the owner of the daycare that “happiness” is incorrectly spelled as “happyness” and needs to be changed.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” went on to receive widespread critical acclaim, mostly for Will Smith’s performance. This also includes multiple notable award nominations including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for “Best Actor”.
8. Taken (2008)
“Taken” is a French action film that centres on the story of Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson). A former government (CIA) operative, Bryan is trying to reconnect with his daughter, Kim (played by Maggie Grace). Then, his worst fears become real when sex slavers abduct Kim and her friend shortly after they arrive in Paris for vacation. With just 4 days until Kim will be auctioned off, Bryan must call on every skill he learned in black ops to rescue her.
The film was so successful that it went on to spawn its own film series – “Taken 2” in 2012 and “Taken 3” just earlier this year! All 3 films feature Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills.
9. Skyfall (2012)
When James Bond’s (played by Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents around the world are exposed, and MI6 is attacked, forcing M (played by Judi Dench) to relocate the agency. With MI6 now compromised inside and out, M turns to the one man she can trust: Bond. Aided only by a field agent (Naomie Harris), Bond takes to the shadows and follows a trail to Silva (played by Javier Bardem), a man from M’s past who wants to settle an old score.
Fun fact: “Skyfall” is also the first James Bond film in the official series where James Bond is seen drinking beer (although in 1995’s GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond remarks to 006, “Buy me a pint”). The ale is Heineken who contributed a rather large amount of money for the product placements.
This November, 007 will face another set of villains in “Spectre“.
10. Jurassic World
“You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea…”
Because which Dad wouldn’t enjoy a dino action flick? 32 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, “Jurassic World“, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction called the “Indominus Rex” is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.
Not convinced? Check out some little known facts about the movie here.
BONUS: Stay in and watch the box sets for the entire “Star Wars” film franchise or the entire “Mission: Impossible” film series. It might take you more than just a couple of hours so remember to block off an entire day for it! Not only will the movies reignite the action flick fanboy in him, it will also prepare your Dad for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” when the movies are released in the coming months!
“Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” is slated to be released on 31st July 2015.
Watch the trailer:
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is slated to be released on 18th December 2015.
Watch the trailer:
Have a great Father’s Day celebration, now 😉