film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Mr. Mom 1983 * * * Stars


1983's Mr. Mom is not so much a lit comedy as it is an ode to consumerism, public inhaling, and the crux of the one and only Reagan era. I mean I remember seeing this film profusely some forty years ago, playing on HBO and/or Cinemax at various times of the day. You have a story about a stay-at-home dad of three, and as a ten-year-old I thought, well that seems interesting, way out, and kind of controversial. "Got two pair, we've got plenty". Oh you slay me Michael Keaton, you really do.

Directed by Stan Dragoti (of Love at First Bite and She's Out of Control fame), co-starring Teri Garr, and mostly shot in a suburban setting where suburbanites actually make fun of themselves (I'm not kidding), Mr. Mom is part satire, part light drama, part Joel Schumacher squib, and in the main funny. 

So yeah, you watch the main character (Jack Butler played with pitch-perfect dryness by Keaton) try to do the housewife thing after getting laid off from his job as an auto engineer. Whether he's failing miserably doing the laundry, not knowing how and where to drop his kids off at school, getting obsessed with soap operas, heating up a grilled cheese with a steam iron, and/or screwing up the grocery list, Michael Keaton brings a certain zaniness to proceedings even if his behaviors are a tad send up-ish and well, parodied.

Seeing Mr. Mom in present day, one might think it's sort of dated and gives the middle finger to social order or woman's liberation. Whatever. I mean does it really matter at this point. What counts is how entertaining and droll the movie is, a rather soil-like, 80s bourgeois conch that feels like the cinematic equivalent of an adult, Saturday morning cartoon. Alpha "mom". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment