August 2, 1989 0 By Fans
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The Buckman family is a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 6.9/10 (21,776 voted)

Critic's Score: 82/100

Ron Howard

Stars: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest

The story of the Buckman family and friends, attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the "black sheep" of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers.

Writers: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel


Steve Martin

Gil Buckman

Mary Steenburgen

Karen Buckman

Dianne Wiest

Helen Buckman

Jason Robards

Frank Buckman

Rick Moranis

Nathan Huffner

Tom Hulce

Larry Buckman

Martha Plimpton

Julie Buckman

Keanu Reeves

Tod Higgins

Harley Jane Kozak

Susan Buckman

(as Harley Kozak)

Dennis Dugan

David Brodsky

Joaquin Phoenix

Garry Buckman-Lampkin

(as Leaf Phoenix)

Eileen Ryan

Marilyn Buckman

Helen Shaw


Jasen Fisher

Kevin Buckman

Paul Linke

George Bowman

The director of "Splash," "Willow" and "Cocoon" brings you a comedy about life, love and the gentle art of raising children.

Release Date: 2 August 1989

Filming Locations: Gainesville, Florida, USA

Opening Weekend: $10,506,450
(4 August 1989)
(1 Screen)

Gross: $100,047,830

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Martha Plimpton plays the older sister of Joaquin Phoenix. In real life, she dated his older brother River Phoenix for nearly five years.


Helen is sitting in the chair, looking at the pictures, Julie comes in and they begin to argue. When Julie runs to her bedroom and Helen jumps out of the chair, the pictures fly all over the floor. In the next scene, when Julie is picking up the pictures, they are dropped in one pile on the floor.


Do you really have to go?

My whole life is "have to."

User Review

Are you someone's parent? Are you someone's child? SEE THIS MOVIE!!


When "Parenthood" first came out, I did my level best to avoid it, certain
that it seeing it would be roughly akin to being embalmed with maple syrup.
Then came that dreadfully slow night at home a couple of years later, faced
with a choice on the ol' tube between endless reruns of "Three's Company"
and HBO showing — oh, no! — "Parenthood." So I clicked on HBO, gritted my
teeth, prepared for the worst . . .

And was wrong.

Ron Howard is one savvy filmmaker. Maybe one of the savviest, I'm not sure.
But I do know that, to make "Parenthood," he combined his savvy with all
the heart he could muster (which was plenty, apparently) and that the result
is a masterpiece.

Virtually every aspect of parenting is examined; moreover, it is done in a
way that — miracle of miracles! — causes you to think, and to feel, every
bit as much as it makes you laugh. Throat lumping up? Not to worry, here
comes another belly-laugh to smooth it out.

The key to the film's message may lie with Jason Robards' speech –"There's
no goal line in parenting, no end zone where you spike the ball and that's
it . . ." — or it may lie with Keanu Reeves — "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you
need a license to drive a car or buy a dog . . ." — or it may simply be Gil
Buckman's (Steve Martin) heroism in salvaging his emotionally disturbed
son's birthday party; then again, it might be embodied in the frantic,
stressed out stoicism of Dianne Wiest's single mom character as she comes to
grips with her teenage daughter's choices and impending motherhood. But
wherever you find it herein, the message is simple and profound: Parenthood
is nothing less than heroism on a daily basis. Quiet, unheralded,
underappreciated heroism.

One of the finest things about this movie is that nobody steps out of
character. There are no miraculous revelations, no nick-of-time cavalry
charges or character transformations. Characters here solve their
individual dilemmas by growing WITHIN their characters. And realistically,
at that.

It's been said that a really good story leaves its author crying as he/she
writes the final pages. Sometimes — not often enough — a really good
movie can leave a reviewer the same way as he finishes his commentary,
crying and laughing simultaneously.

Well, don't just stand there! Someone get me a Kleenex!!