16 October 2008

Parenthood (starring Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen and Dianne Wiest)


I very much like films with Steve Martin, which is probably how 'Parenthood' appeared on my wishlist. The blurb suggested something fairly light-hearted, and sure enough it made a good relaxing evening's viewing.

Steve Martin stars brilliantly as the father of three, trying to relate well to his children, juggling parenthood with his job and also his wife. He has three siblings with very different attitudes to family life. One of them has two rebellious teenagers, one is over-protective, and is hot-housing his small daughter, and the third pretty much ignores his delightful son.

The film is entirely character-based, like most of my favourite books, with plenty of interaction between the various siblings, cousins and other characters. Of course they’re mostly exaggerated, but nonetheless, I could see at least a grain of reality in everyone.


There's humour (some of it rather risqué), and some pathos too. I just wished the topic of home education had come up with Kevin, the sensitive child who was very unhappy at school.

Although Amazon UK lists this as PG, our version states that it is rated 15; I assume that’s because of several innuendos and sexual references. But there’s nothing explicit, no nudity, no violence, and – as far as I noticed – no bad language. Perhaps it was down-rated. In America, the rating is PG-13. Unlikely to be of much interest to young children anyway, but very enjoyable for adults wanting something light, not requiring too much brainpower, and yet surprisingly thought-provoking.

Recommended.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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