Mr. Mom

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Mr. Mom Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s comedy with some salty language, racy scenes.
  • PG
  • 1983
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The premise is somewhat dated, as stay-at-home dads are far more common than they were when this movie was released in the 1980s, but the movie does question outdated notions that men can't spend their waking hours taking care of the kids and the household and that women can't succeed in the workplace. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Caroline must confront sexist attitudes of some of the men she must work with as she starts her new job in advertising. After the indignity of getting laid off from his career in the auto industry as an engineer, Jack outgrows his belief that men should be the breadwinners of the family. 

Violence

Men lunge at their boss when they are laid off. Jack throws the phone in a fit of anger. In a dream sequence intended to parody soap operas, Caroline pulls a gun on Jack and kills him -- no blood. 

Sex

No sex or nudity, but plenty of flirtation and risqué overtures. A divorcee wears low-cut blouses and hits on Jack, and later appears in lingerie during a dream sequence. Caroline's boss aggressively hits on her wearing a robe. A brief scene of Chippendales dancing at a strip club in leather underwear, with one of the dancers accepting a tip and sticking it in the crotch of the underwear; a woman rushes the stage. 

Language

Occasional profanity: "s--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," "hell," "dammit." In the workplace, a woman gives a successful advertising pitch and the CEO of the company says to her male boss, "Where have you been hiding this little girl?" 

Consumerism

Plenty of product placement, especially cleaning products such as Tide, Clorox, and Borax. Jack is partial to Miller Lite beer. Caroline works on an ad campaign for a fake tuna fish company, Schooner Tuna. Frequent viewings of The Young and the Restless.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drugs, but plenty of smoking in the boardroom. As he gets more bored with the situation, Jack begins to drink beer during the day, often while watching soap operas. Cigar smoking. Scenes where characters come home drunk. Champagne drinking. A woman trying to seduce the lead character enters his bedroom with a tray holding two glasses and a fifth of Jack Daniels whiskey. A man admits to being drunk while trying to seduce a married woman. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mr. Mom is a 1983 movie in which a laid-off engineer from the auto industry struggles with his role as a househusband while his wife becomes the breadwinner. Though this comedy is rated PG and features kids, it's fairly racy. A divorcee targets a married man and flashes her cleavage, a boss hits on his married employee, and Jack and his housewife friends see a male stripper show. There's plenty of smoking and drinking. There's some mild profanity ("s--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," "hell," "dammit.") The attitudes and premise are dated; modern kids might wonder why being a stay-at-home dad is such a big deal. Some sexism: A woman gives a successful advertising pitch and the CEO of the company says to her male boss, "Where have you been hiding this little girl?" 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjessandgabesmom January 11, 2014

Just beware language is more than just mild in parts...

There are at least two instances of the word Sh*t in this movie. I was a little surprised given that the rating on here said, "crap" and "jerk... Continue reading
Adult Written byJoe B. November 27, 2017

Classic Humor

Since Kids can’t possibly relate to the working Dad and stay home Mom partnership, most of the ironies will be missed by people under 30. But everyone will pick... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 6, 2009

a dad acting like a mom

this is a funny movie, some kids won't find it funny, but i do.
Kid, 12 years old September 7, 2015

Awesome

Super cool and might be a little inappropriate because of language and some sex

What's the story?

When he's laid off from his job as an automotive engineer, Jack (Michael Keaton) becomes MR. MOM, a stay-at-home dad in charge of three kids and the household, while his wife Caroline (Teri Garr), a former ad exec, dusts off her shoulder-padded suits to prove herself worthy in the boardroom. Jack and his mommy friends play poker with coupons; Caroline applies domestic know-how to land a tuna campaign; Jack conquers a wayward vacuum cleaner; and Caroline fends off her randy boss. In the end, Jack realizes his wife does more than he can ever imagine while he is away, and Caroline realizes she can hold her own in the corporate world.

Is it any good?

Decades after it was first released in theaters, this movie remains as relevant as ever; stay-at-home dads may not be that rare anymore, but what keeps this comedy fresh is its humor. Simply put, it's hilarious. In the hands of lesser thespians, Jack and Caroline would have merely become caricatures. But in Keaton and Garr, they are layered and conflicted and always funny.

The results of the switch aren't all that surprising -- it's the journey to Jack and Caroline's epiphanies that makes Mr. Mom worthwhile. In the end, the movie takes a position: Men and women are equal, at home and at work. It's not a new life lesson, but how fun it is to be reminded.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about gender roles in Mr. Mom. How was it hard for the homemaker to become the breadwinner and vice-versa? The idea of a househusband was a novelty in the '80s -- has that changed? Caroline's boss blatantly hits on her. Could an employer behave this way today? What more recent movies have you seen that show men in domestic roles?

  • Could this movie be remade and placed in a contemporary setting? Why or why not? What would be different? What would be the same? 

  • Besides attitudes toward gender roles, what are some other ways in which this movie is firmly placed in the realities of the early 1980s? 

Movie details

For kids who love to laugh

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