With Father’s Day just around the corner now seems like the perfect time to rent, borrow or download (legally please people!) ten movies that feature the best big screen dads. Warning: Spoilers.
10. Sonny Koufax – Big Daddy
Posing as a child’s biological father in order to hold on to the shreds of a tattered relationship isn’t the best way to go about parenthood, but for law school graduate and general layabout Sonny Koufax a failed attempt at rekindling his relationship leads him on a journey of self discovery as he tries to parent his roommate’s son, Julian. Sonny takes out our number ten spot for embracing a child’s individuality and letting him express his individuality (to the point where Julian decides he’d rather be called Frankenstein) while still managing to get a him into the bathtub without any tears. Please don’t steal your friend’s children while they’re overseas. You’ll make all sorts of other lists for that kind of behaviour.
9. Charlie Hinton, Phil Ryerson and Marvin – Daddy Daycare
These three dads scoop the number nine spot for not only finding a way to spend each day with their children, but making it profitable by opening their own daycare. Charlie, Phil and Marvin not only demonstrate that being a stay at home dad can be fun, but face up to the stereotypes and sexism that fathers sometimes face. For sticking it to the man, or woman as it may be, and challenging societal views these three dads get a round of applause, but probably won’t be getting many babysitting jobs in the future.
8. Jor El – Superman
It isn’t everyday that your planet explodes, and while the rest of the population understandably panics, first time father Jor El sets his son on a course for safety. But Superman’s pop doesn’t just stop at removing his pride and joy from harm’s way — unwilling to leave anything to chance, Jor El hand selects the family that he believes will be the best fit for his son and in a move that would hurt the heart of men as strong as Kryptonite, sets his son out into the universe and straight into the arms of another father.
7. Joe Kingman – The Gameplan
The number seven spot on our list goes to Joe Kingman for stepping up to the plate at a moment’s notice and taking on the biggest challenge of his life: parenthood. Pro football player Joe Kingman has the perfect life, until his doorbell rings and he finds a child, his child, standing on the other side (if there is one thing I’ve realised during this list it’s that single men should never answer their door, because there is almost always a child hiding behind it — you’ve been warned). Suddenly thrust into a world of ponies, tutus and dolls, Joe struggles to navigate his way around becoming a father to the daughter he never knew he had.
6. Mr Incredible – The Incredibles
Most little boys and girls believe that their father is a superhero, but for Bob Parr’s kids it couldn’t be more true. Bob, or Mr Incredible, hides himself away from his family, resenting the average life he’s taken up in order to have children. But when his life is in danger, his family come to his rescue (sort of) and Bob realises that he can share the things he loves with his children, and in doing so only comes to enjoy them more. Bob scoops the number six prize, not only for saving his children from a dastardly villain, but for looking good in lycra while doing it.
5. Chris Gardner – The Pursuit of Happyness
Based on a true story, The Pursuit of Happyness follows Chris Gardner and his son Christopher Jr as they struggle with homelessness. Chris, unwilling to let himself and his son live in poverty, takes up an internship that may lead to a paid position in a brokerage firm. Eventually Chris lands the position, and we go on to find out that the real Christopher Gardner became the owner of a multimillion dollar firm. The love and dedication this man shows his son and his inability to give up lands him our number five spot.
4. Jason ‘Furious’ Styles – Boyz N the Hood
In a world where gang violence and absent fathers are the norm, Furious does his best to parent his young son. As seven years pass we watch the impact that having a father figure like Furious has on Tre, and while his friends are killed in acts of street violence and continue a cycle of crime, Tre takes his father’s advice, and turns away from the behaviour. Furious stands up and parents his child in a world where nobody expects a father to stick around, and as a reward for being a parent he gets to watch his son attend college. The impact a father has in his child’s life in immeasurable, and in a world where it is expected for men to walk away, Furious chooses to instead put his life aside and parent, and in doing so likely saves his son’s life.
3. Marlin – Finding Nemo
Parenting can be scary at times, and after losing his beloved partner and unborn children in a horrific accident, every day brings new horrors for father of one, Marlin. He protects his son Nemo to the point of smothering, and when Nemo is caught by fishermen Marlin will swim to the ends of the earth, or at least Sydney, in order to bring his son home. In an epic journey Marlin overcomes his own fears in order to save Nemo, and for his heroic actions Marlin swims into the number three spot, because even animals can make good parents.
2. Bryan Mills – Taken
‘If you let my daughter go now that will be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. But if you don’t I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.’ Bryan Mills wins his title as our number two Dad for being the most badass father to ever grace the big screen. Using his ex spy skills, Bryan crosses countries to track down his daughter’s kidnappers and bring her home safely. His quick thinking and ability to keep calm under pressure are skills that most fathers could utilise, whether they’re dealing with international kidnapping or exploding diapers.
1. Noah Levenstein – American Pie
And our number one best big screen dad goes to none other than Noah Levenstein, affectionately known as ‘Jim’s Dad’. Noah not only guides his own son through the perils of an incredibly awkward few years, but also lends his worldly advice to a whole host of other young people and becomes a father figure to all those who need it. For having a genuine interest in the welfare, happiness and safety of all young adults, and scooping a few extra brownie points for those trademark eyebrows, Noah Levenstein is simply a good man, with a good heart, trying to do a good job of raising his kid, and at the end of the day, that’s all you need in order to be a good dad.