Saturday, June 21, 2014

FATHER'S DAY: MEMORABLE DADDYS

I should have posted this on Father's Day but sorry to say I was under the weather that day. My father sadly died on 2010 and though he was strict with us kids, I found myself thinking of him as I got this post ready. Thanks to his insistence we read as many books as possible, my interest in writing was born. So far I have two blogs and two children's books on the stands- and I pray to God for His guidance in writing more.
Any how, Father's Day is a day when Daddys all round the world are celebrated and below is a small list of movies with memorable fathers.






Alberto Rodriguez in THREE HUNDRED MILES FOR STEPHANIE 



Based on a true story (and a heartrending one) a police officer  was devoted to his little daughter Stephanie, despite her severe health problems  and physical disability and refused to give up on her. When Stephanie fell ill yet again and Alberto was told her illness was terminal, he prayed to God- "Let me love her just a bit longer" and promised  he would embark on  a 300 mile marathon from San Antonio to a sanctuary  in San Juan de los Lagos to give thanks if Stephanie lived to see her fifth birthday- an act of faith, hope, patience and love. This memorable event was in 1977 and  the T.V movie made from it, starring Tony Orlando. 
The real Stephanie Rodriguez died at the age of 26, on February 6th, 1999.











Chris Gardner in THE  PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS  




Also based on a true story, a salesman (Will Smith)  struggles with poverty, homelessness and completing an unpaid internship at a stockbroking firm-  at the same time taking care of his son, his wife having given up and left. But somehow he manged to press on and not lose hope, as most of what he was doing was for the sake of the son he was determined not to lose to Child Protective Services.What broke my heart was the scene where they spent the night in a public rest house but the story ended happily with Gardner earning the coveted position and today, by God's Grace, is the CEO of his own brokerage company. 








Sam  Dawson in I AM SAM




If ever there was a very loving and memorable father, that  is Sam Dawson (played by Sean Penn) in this very moving 2001 movie. Half the time I was upset for him, hoping and praying the judge would rule in his favor. Sam is a single father devoted to his little daughter, Lucy (played by Dakota Fanning); Lucy's mother having abandoned them after Lucy's birth. Unfortunately, Sam is mentally challenged which caused certain unkind people to make fun of him  and while Lucy is not exactly embarrassed by her beloved daddy, she is embarrassed she's is more advanced than him in intellect and began pretending to be stupid just so he would not feel bad. Lucy was taken away from Sam as he was deemed an unfit father because of his condition and to add salt to the wound- only allowed to visit his daughter twice a week, under supervision.
So Sam got a lawyer, Rita (Michelle Pfeiffer) to get Lucy back and as the the custody case went on; Rita learnt to be a better mother through Sam's advice and the foster family who wanted to adopt Lucy (the poor thing kept sneaking to her Daddy's place every night) realised Lucy's place- and where she wanted to be- was with Sam; who may not possess a high intellect but possessed a lot of love for his child. 






Stanley Banks in FATHER OF THE BRIDE



The original starred Spencer Tracy as the overprotective and harassed  papa of the bride to be; Elizabeth Taylor in 1950, with Joan Bennet as the peace making Mama. It was remade in 1991 starring Steve Martin, Kimberly Williams as the bride to be and Diane Keaton as the Mother of The Bride.


Both Tracy and Martin played the same role, a father who is taken aback by the sudden announcement from his daughter she's getting married and he's upset because he  still sees her as a 'little girl' instead of a young woman of 21 hence reluctant to let go of her. And there's the reluctance to pay for the wedding but what I really want to know is, was the reluctance because he felt it was too extravagant or simply because he didn't want the wedding to hold at all? But either way, Stanley Banks proved to be a good, unselfish father and his relationship with his daughter remained just as close after she was married. Actually I found him  rather possessive and unreasonable initially but then again, a son or daughter is always a child in the eyes of the parent.









Daniel Hillard in MRS. DOUBTFIRE 







Daniel Hillard (played so comically by Robin Williams) is another memorable father. He's clearly devoted to his son and two daughters but also clearly very irresponsible. I mean, how many fathers would throw an animal themed party (and I mean with live animals) for his son even after the boy brought home a bad report card? That can't happen where I come from! The results of his actions caused his wife Miranda (Sally Field) to divorce him and gain sole custody of the children,  to his great dismay. So what did he do, he went out of his way to be able to see them often by getting his makeup artist brother to  transform him into "Euphegenia Doubtfire" ( who by the way reminded me of a much older Mary Poppins without the umbrella and hat) and got hired as the children's nanny/housekeeper. The charade not only got him precious hours with the children- he also learnt to be a better parent and realized his past immature behavior had really affected Miranda. It's a pity it took a divorce to make him a better parent and person but his love for the children was always constant.










Peter Mitchell, Michael Kellam and Jack Holden in THREE MEN AND A BABY/THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY



The 1987 movie featured 3 bachelors; Peter (Tom Selleck), Michael (Steve Guttenberg) and Jack (Ted Danson);  who suddenly found themselves forced to look after a baby girl left on their doorstep. After several comic attempts plus having to deal with a vengeful drug dealer, the three men- particularly Jack who was  the biological father of Baby Mary, accept their new role of fathers to the child, even after the mother Sylvia returned to claim the child. In the 1990 sequel, they remained  very doting fathers to five year old Mary and had to contend with Mary's nasty step father to be. This is one of the most heartwarming 'father' stories I've ever watched- three confirmed bachelors doing anything for their 'little girl' and one of them finding love with Mary's mother eventually.  
Rumour has it there is to be another sequel- THREE MEN AND A BRIDE- and I'm willing to bet there would be a major  tussle over who gets to walk the bride down the aisle; her father Jack, her stepfather Peter or her godfather Michael! 

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