What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that though this comedy is rated PG, features kids, and has little to no cursing, 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, though in a social context appropriate for the time period.
What's the story?
When he's laid off from his job as an automotive engineer, Jack (Michael Keaton) becomes 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, MR. MOM 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.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about gender roles. 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?