• Craig Hunter

Mr. Mom (1983)

As the economy moves into a recession, Jack Butler, played by Michael Keaton, finds himself laid off--technically furloughed--from his engineering job in the Detroit auto industry.  When his wife Caroline, played by Terri Garr, lands a job with an advertising firm before Jack can get new work, Jack takes Caroline's place as the stay at home parent. Hilarity ensues as Jack tries to adjust to raising three children, running a household, and his changing relationship with his wife.  Will the drastic life changes break up their marriage? Or will Jack and Caroline find a way to navigate their role reversals?  You'll have to watch and find out.

Jack is an "everyman".  He's the breadwinner in his family.  He's the good natured 80's dad who has no idea what's happening at home.  But suddenly, Jack finds himself at home, with the three kids, and no longer the breadwinner, and no longer in command of his world.

Let's look at some of the great scenes that unfold:

"You're Doing It Wrong"

It's pouring rain.  Jack is dropping off the kids at school.  He's driving what must be the longest station wagon in history.  All the cars are honking as Jack pulls up to the North end of the drop off zone.  Jack rolls down his window as a woman in a rain coat approaches the car.  "Hi Jack, I'm Annette.  You're doing it wrong.  This is what i tell all my new mommies.  We enter from the south and we exit from the north.  Then we do the reverse when we pick up."  As he drives away a woman yells that he's a moron.

"Herb, clean up on aisle 4!"

Jack is in the grocery store with Kenny and the baby.  He has clearly has never been grocery shopping before.  He has to ask Kenny where the eggs are! The shopping cart has one wobbly wheel like a Kenny Bania joke.  He tries to order ham from the deli counter but there are dozens of kinds and he is paralysed with choice.  Then ditto for cheese.  There is a mosh pit of women around him waiting to order and they begin to grow impatient.

After making it to the cash.  Jack notices that there is a kid standing in the shopping cart, and it's not Kenny.  The scene ends with a Jack admitting to Joan that he doesn't know what he's doing and yelling at the PA system, "Herb, we were never in aisle 7, honest!"

Obligatory 80s Montage Scene

Jack briefly throws in the towel by letting his beard grow, his gut grow, and wearing the same plaid shirt everyday.  While watching "the Y and R" he has a soap opera themed epiphany which puts him back in the right mindset.  In an 80s montage scene set to the Rocky theme he gets his life back on track by ditching the shirt, shaving the beard, and doing a 20 minute style workout.

I love a good 80's family film.  Lots of innocent fun and silliness.  No real violence, or sex, or swearing.  I can watch this film with my kids and not worry about them getting scared during a violent scene, or learning a new swear word.  Terri Garr is cute as a button, Michael Keaton is witty, and the kids are cute.  What more could you ask for?

Check out Mr. Mom on Amazon