When choosing great Father's Day movies, Josie Ortega suggests celebrating fatherhood with great on-screen movie dads, action-packed adventures, coming of age films . . . or a ridiculous 1980s comedy. Bottom line: it's Dad's choice.
When selecting a film for Family Movie Night, we’re looking for a story that will appeal to every family member in some way or another. Young, old, boys, girls. We’re striving for that delicate balance, never forgetting my cardinal rule: no movies that annoy me.
Here’s what happens on occasion. I choose a movie I love, and the kids are thrilled for screen time of any kind. Then my husband offers to finish the dinner dishes. “You go ahead and get the movie started!” he offers, selflessly. He takes out the trash. From every room in the house. Twenty minutes later, I text him to ask if he’s joining us to watch any of this classic flick. My friends, I did not make a winning selection for Family Movie Night. (“You have chosen . . . poorly.”)
Of course, as with meals and toys and the coveted front seat, you win some, you lose some. You get your favorite sometimes, I get my favorite sometimes; we all eat together.
However. If there’s any moment when it’s appropriate to throw ol’ Dad a bone regarding movie selection: Father’s Day weekend is that time! Watch his favorite, re-visit a childhood classic, or go with the film he’s been wanting to watch.
Let’s grab the [root] beer and buffalo wings—that’s my husband’s favorite—and snuggle up for Family Movie Night, Father’s Day edition. Here are a few ideas:
Father of the Bride. For the dad who will cry at the father-daughter dance. (See also: Father of the Bride Part 2, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding—for the dad who sprays Windex to heal every ailment.)
Stand and Deliver. For the dad who, like Jaime Escalante, dedicates himself to changing others’ lives for the better, and rarely gets recognized for it.
To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus Finch inspiration for all those noble attorneys out there.
Mrs. Doubtfire. This one’s for the dad who does all the different voices during family read-alouds. Robin Williams, you slay me.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. For the zany scientist types. (In real life, by the way, Rick Moranis left Hollywood to be a stay-at-home dad after his wife's passing.)
Instructions Not Included. Mexican leading man Eugenio Derbez stars in this fun, bilingual father-daughter tale. Warning: it turns out to be a bit of a tear-jerker.
Overboard. Because we want Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn to be our own parents. (Don't watch the remake.)
Mr. Mom. For the dad who rocks household chores and the childcare load.
Turner and Hooch. For the dog father.
(Three Men and a Baby might be another pick in this category, but I don’t remember that one very well!)
The Great Escape. For the dad who never gives up, and embraces his inner Steve McQueen. You'll laugh and cry as you get to know the charming cast of characters, Allied soldiers working together to tunnel their way out of a World War II prisoner of war camp.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It's just really good. Adults and kids will love it.
Indiana Jones. For the armchair archeologist. I'd go with The Last Crusade because the father-son relationship between Dr. Jones (Sean Connery) and Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) is so fun to watch. My advice: do NOT choose Temple of Doom If you don't want your children to be terrified when that dude tries to rip Indy’s heart out of his chest. The monkey brains are really cool though. Know your children.
Black Panther, if your kids are old enough.
Flight of the Navigator. What a throwback! Now made easily accessible on Disney Plus.
Star Wars. Any of 'em. I am your father.
As always, check a site like Common Sense Media or pre-screen ahead of time to ensure your selection will be appropriate for your children. Or just trust the old man—the kids can handle it.
("You have chosen . . . wisely." Name that movie!)