Fans of Adam Sandler and Ryan Reynolds will enjoy these films, as will fans of John Hughes and Richard Linklater.
Kevin Hart’s portrayal in Netflix’sFatherhood, a somber but hopeful dramedy about a single parent having to raise his young daughter alone after the death of his wife, has gotten some of the highest reviews of his career. When it premiered on Netflix in 2021, the film was an instant hit.
Fatherhood is the latest in a long line of heartfelt single-father movies that examine the challenges of being a parent, overcoming adversity, and learning how to be a stable role model for their closest loved ones.
1. Big Daddy (1999)
Big Daddy is more blatantly comical, but it’s also a heartwarming tale of a single parent told by a well-known comedian. As Sonny, an irresponsible law school graduate, played by Adam Sandler, he takes in a small boy named Julian (Cole Sprouse) on the off chance that he may impress his fling. He grows to care for the boy over time.
Unlike Kevin Hart in Fatherhood, Sandler reveals a side of himself that fans hadn’t seen before in Big Daddy. Children’s laughter is mixed with sincere emotion in a unique way that defies humour.
2. Definitely, Maybe (2008)
Parental divorce is dealt with in a light-hearted manner in Definitely, Maybe, which is refreshing for a serious topic. Maya, played by Abigail Breslin, is the 11-year-old daughter of Will Hays, played by Ryan Reynolds, a political strategist who is trying to help her understand his impending divorce.
Maya must figure out which of Will’s prior lovers is actually her mother as Will narrates his romantic history by changing the names of the women he’s slept with. Reinforcing both the difficulties of single parenting and the strong attachment between father and daughter is the lighthearted rom-com.
3. Eighth Grade (2018)
Kayla Day, played by Elsie Fisher, is a shy and awkward 13-year-old who must deal with the hardships of her final year of junior high in Eighth Grade. Elsie’s connection with her father, Josh Hamilton’s Mark, is at the center of the picture.
As Mark and Elise’s traumatic interactions show, adolescence is a time of tremendous stress, living in a single-parent home with a single child, and a constant need to be seen and heard in the digital age.
4. Jersey Girl (2004)
After the death of his wife, Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is thrown into the role of a single father in Kevin Smith’s semi-autobiographical film Jersey Girl. When Raquel Castro’s Gertrude, played by Ollie, is born, Ollie is forced to juggle his personal and professional lives.
The perks of parenting begin to dawn on Ollie when he enlists the aid of his father, George Carlin’s “Pop,” and a video shop employee named Maya, played by Liv Tyler.
5. Somewhere (2010)
Actress Elle Fanning plays 11-year-old Cleo, the daughter of Stephen Dorff’s washed-up actor Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. The debauched Hollywood lifestyle of Cleo’s father eventually changes when she pays a surprise visit to his luxurious Chateau Marmont hotel suite.
The beauty of Somewhere is that Cleo transmits as much wisdom to Johnny as he does to her in their little time together. The precocious girl transforms Johnny into a better guy, and he prioritizes her over his quick lifestyle as a result.
6. She’s Having A Baby (1988)
In John Hughes’ opinion, She’s Having a Baby is his most personal film. When two young newlyweds learn that they will soon become parents, they are confronted with insurmountable difficulties.
As soon as Jake and Kristy Briggs get married, they begin to feel the expectations of society to start a family. The video tackles in great depth the stress, anxiety, and overbearingweight of becoming a first-time parent while feeling unsure and unprepared. With equal parts comedy and drama, She’s Having a Baby is sure to please fans of fatherhood.
7. The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)
When he portrays Chris Gardener, a struggling entrepreneur who ends up living on the streets with his 5-year-old son, Jaden Smith, in The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith provides one of his greatest performances.
True-life story: Chris puts everything he has on bone density technology, but it doesn’t take off. As his wife heads to New York, Chris Jr.’s father struggles to provide him with a safe place to call home and a better quality of life. The inspirational tale of Chris the underdog changes course as he becomes a successful stockbroker and provides for his son, Chris Jr.
8. Gifted (2017)
In Marc Webb’s overlooked film Gifted, a father raises his smart young niece all by himself only to find himself embroiled in a bitter custody struggle with his own mother. Frank and Mary’s chemistry between Chris Evans and McKenna Grace is one of the show’s highlights.
Frank’s life is turned upside down when he learns that his niece Mary is a remarkable math prodigy at school while he is raising her alone in Florida. In order to regain Mary’s custody and prepare her for a life of academic rigor, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) makes a plea to Frank’s estranged mother. Frank, on the other hand, battles for what he believes is best for Mary and honors his sister’s legacy in the process.
9. The Descendants (2011)
After the death of his wife in a boating accident, Matt King (George Clooney) is forced to raise his two rowdy teenage girls on his alone in The Descendants. As a result of his wife’s adultery and impending death, Matt must learn how to raise his children as a single parent.
Similarly, Matt’s transformation into a more attentive and affectionate father in Fatherhood is mirrored in the transformation of Alex (played by Shailene Woodley) and Scottie (portrayed by Amara Miller).
10. Boyhood (2014)
A child’s journey from birth to puberty is depicted in Richard Linklater’s seminal film Boyhood. To understand Mason’s maturation, we must look at his connection with both of his divorced parents, Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) and Olivia (Elijah Wood), played by Ellar Coltrane (played by Patricia Arquette).
Mason’s close relationship with his parents, who do everything they can to nurture him in a positive and productive atmosphere, enhances the film’s harsh realism. One of today’s most gifted directors expertly handles the imperfections and universal observations of parenthood and childhood.