Parenthood

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: Story, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard, Screenplay, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest

The story revolves around Gil Buckman (Steve Martin), a neurotic sales executive trying to balance the pressures of raising a family in the suburbs of St. Louis and succeeding in his career. Among Gil’s issues is a family of relatives who all face their own obstacles related to family and raising children such as Gil’s wife, Karen (Mary Steenburgen), his gruff and distant father, Frank (Jason Robards) and an assortment of other colorful relatives in a movie that raises the question: How easy is it to raise a family when you’re also trying to have your own life?

Gil never overworks himself, because he wants to be an active father, rather than a distant one like his own father was. His relationship with his father remains tense. His parenting skills are put under more pressure when he finds out that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child whom he is unsure of, and that his eldest son, Kevin, may have emotional problems [recognizably, in retrospect, a mild form of social anxiety disorder or possibly Asperger’s Syndrome] and may need to be placed in special classes or a private school if his issues don’t get better. Given Kevin’s issues, and some more minor issues with his other two children, Gil begins to blame himself and deeply question his abilities as a father. In addition, the financial burdens of another child and office politics at work may mean becoming the workaholic he despised his own father for being. When his father comes to Gil for advice on how to deal with Larry (Gil’s wayward brother) and says he is asking Gil’s advice because Gil is a good father, Gil has some closure about his feelings toward his father. Although this was a first step for Gil to realize that kids don’t come with an instruction manual, it is grandma and his wife that finally get him to relax and enjoy what life brings rather than over analyze it.

The film ends on a sentimental note with a new generation of Buckman children being born and the personal growth of the parents. For example, Frank lovingly hugs and cuddles his grandson Cool demonstrating that he changed his distant ways. The message of the film is seemingly that despite a family’s hectic problems, there is nothing better than being part of it and everyone has insecurities about their parenting skills.

The Prince of Egypt

  • Directors: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells
  • Producers: Penney Finkelman Cox, Sandra Rabins, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Ofra Haza Helen Mirren

The first song (“Deliver Us”) shows Hebrew slaves labor away while Jochebed (also spelt Yocheved), seeing her fellow mothers’ baby sons being taken away from them, places her own son in a basket and sets it afloat on the Nile to be preserved by fate, singing her final lullaby (“River Lullaby”, A recurring motif in the film) to the baby. Her daughter, Miriam, follows the basket and witnesses her baby brother being taken in by the Queen of Egypt and named Moses.

The story cuts to (presumably) 18-20 years later (biblically 40 years), to show a grown Moses and his foster-brother, Rameses, racing their chariots through the Egyptian temples, destroying many statues. When they are lectured by their father, Seti, later on for their misdeeds, Rameses is offended. Moses later remarks that Rameses wants the approval of his father, but lacks the opportunity. Moses goes to cheer his brother up, making joking predictions (“Statues crumbling and toppling, the Nile drying up; you will singlehandedly bring the greatest kingdom on Earth to ruins!”). They then stumble in late to a banquet given by Seti, discovering that he has named Rameses as Prince Regent. In thanks, Rameses appoints Moses as Royal Chief Architect. As a tribute to Moses, the high priests Hotep and Huy offer Zipporah, a Midianite girl they kidnapped, as a concubine for him. She eventually escapes, with Moses’ help. Moses is led to a small spot in Goshen where he is reunited with Miriam and Aaron, his siblings. There, Miriam tells him the truth about his past. Moses at first is in denial (“All I Ever Wanted”), but a nightmare and talks with his adoptive parents help him realize the truth. Moses eventually kills an Egyptian guard, who was abusing an old slave, and runs away in despair.

The next morning, the Hebrews happily pack, leave their enslavement, and eventually find their way to the Red Sea (“When You Believe”), but turn around to find out Rameses has changed his mind and is pursuing them with his army. Moses parts the Red Sea, while behind him a pillar of fire writhes before the Egyptians, blocking their way. The Hebrews cross on the sea bottom; when the army gives chase, the water closes over the Egyptians, and the Hebrews are freed. Rameses, who has been hurled back to the shore by the collapsing waves, is left yelling his brother’s name in disgrace. Moses turns from the shore and begins to lead his people onward; only briefly looking back towards the sea in Rameses’ direction, murmuring sadly; “Farewell, Brother”. The last scene of the film shows Moses delivering the Ten Commandments to his people as Jochebed’s voice echoes in the background.

Bringing Down the House

  • Directors: Adam Shankman
  • Producers: Queen Latifah
  • Writers: Jason Filardi
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah

Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a workaholic tax attorney corresponding with an online friend known only as “lawyer-girl”. On their first blind date, Peter learns that “lawyer-girl” is Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah), a wrongfully convicted bank robber claiming her innocence who wants Peter’s help in getting the charges dropped. Peter also must deal with Virginia Arness (Joan Plowright), an eccentric billionaire, to bring her business to his firm, as well as competitive colleagues and bosses. His neighbor, Mrs. Kline (Betty White), who happens to be related to one of the senior partners, is a nosy bigot. Peter attempts to juggle these issues as well as reconcile with his estranged wife (Jean Smart) and children (Kimberly J. Brown and Angus T. Jones).

Cheaper by the Dozen

  • Directors: Shawn Levy
  • Producers: Michael Barnathan, Robert Simonds
  • Writers: Craig Titley, Sam Harper, Joel Cohen Alec Sokolow
  • Genres: Comedy, Family
  • Actors: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Alyson Stoner, Ashton Kutcher

The Baker family is a happy and large family with 12 children who reside in Midland.[disambiguation needed]

One day Tom Baker (Steve Martin) gets an offer for his dream job: Become the coach of the Stallions. Tom returns home with the new job and promotion in the urban near north Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois with education advantages and a new vehicle; although Kate approves, his children overhear and object to his proposed actions in a family conference. Even though the children vote about what they would rather do, Tom decides to accept the job and move to the city, many miles away from their current countryside home.

Upon arriving in the new urban community, they are greeted by the neighbors, who take a negative attitude to the Bakers because of the number of their children and the fact that they often “run wild”. One day, aspiring author Kate receives a call, telling her that her new book is perfect and she should go on a promotion tour, so she makes the decision to leave, and leaves her husband alone with the 12 children. Problems soon erupt, but everything comes to a halt when, after being grounded, the Baker kids sneak out and accidentally wreck their friend’s birthday party. Kate ends the book tour and returns home, angry at Tom for not telling her that he could not handle it.

The state of the family’s condition seriously comes to light after Kate discovers a disturbing note on Mark’s bed and Mark has gone missing. The family begins searching, but after calling the police, Tom realizes that Mark’s favorite place has always been the Midland house, and frantically makes his way to the railway station. He soon finds Mark, on a train heading towards Midland. They ride the train together to Midland and are greeted by the family at the railway station the next morning. They apologize to each other and Tom decides to quit his football career to find a job which would provide more time for him to spend with his family. While they return to the city and begin to adjust to their new life, Kate’s book is published and stays at the number one at the bestseller’s list on the book chart for 12 months.