Friday, 12 February 2010


NBC are premiering a TV adaptation of the 1989 flick Parenthood with Lauren Graham and Peter Krause. I don’t know if I’ll watch but I sincerely hope that it’s a success. I’ve adored Lauren Graham for all the years she was Emmy snubbed doing excellent work on Gilmore Girls and though Michael C. Hall was the real find for me on Six Feet Under I remember Peter Krause with fondness alone. But to be honest they’re not the only reason I’m hoping for success with this show. The 1989 comedy Parenthood is a film that I admire.
Have you seen Parenthood? I wonder what your excuse is if you haven’t. It is – as you can surmise – about being a parent. It is an unenviable job at the worst of times, but Parenthood is a comedy so it’s more than about the bad times. I remember Parenthood and immediately remember the luminous Dianne Wiest who earned a second Oscar nomination (Supporting Actress, naturally) for her work here. She plays a single mother with two children. Her daughter is engaged to Keanu Reeves – so you can just imagine her troubles; and her younger son is questioning the whereabouts of his father who has another family. You probably know by now, but I’m excessively fond of this woman. She is so talented (and simultaneously underused) that it’s not even funny. Dianne Wiest is one of the two women who are able to make Keanu Reeves youthful machinations bearable – the second is Glenn Close. Dianne is both comedic and dramatic in her role, and it’s a bit tough at times. She has to show us the ferocity of her motherhood but she has to be easy going enough to let that questionable DNA of Reeves into her family, and she has to make it all mesh together. She does. When she comforts her son in a pivotal scene you cannot help but feel for this woman. Parenthood is not only about Ms. Wiest though. We have other families, notably – Rick Moranis and Steve Martin. They’re not Dianne Wiest but the two men are good here. They opt out of their usual physical comedy and do some excellent work. Moranis in particular is good as a torn father. I can’t remember Parenthood without remembering those child actors who are just adorable.
Parenthood is a comedy, and it’s an ensemble piece. It’s funny, but it’s real. It’s strange I suppose that in a year of Driving Miss Daisy, Born on the Fourth of July, Crimes & Misdemeanours that this off kilter comedy was my favourite film; but it was. It is absolutely enchanting.
Do you think I'm crazy? Or does Parenthood give you happy thoughts?

1 comment:

Tom said...

I agree, it was one of my favorites of 1989, too. I remember going to see it in the theater and loved Dianne Wiest. She deserved the nomination. If I recall correctly, she was also nominated for the now-defunct "American Comedy Award" for Funniest Supporting Actress in a film. (but Julie "Voice of Marge Simpson" Kavner won for "New York Stories").

I didn't known they were making another TV show called Parenthood. (one bombed in the early 90s) I don't know why they have to base it off the characters, they could easily just create new characters and just have it about another family.