AFI Movie Club: PARENTHOOD – American Film Institute
Parenthood Film Still - Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves, Martha Plimpton, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Joaquin Phoenix, Jason Robards, Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen, Alex Burrall, Dennis Dugan, Jasen Fisher, Harley Jane Kozak, Zachary La Voy, Alisan Porter, Eileen Ryan, Ivyann Schwan, and Helen Shaw



PARENTHOOD was directed by Ron Howard and stars Steve Martin, the recipient of the 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award.   

Watch Bryce Dallas Howard announce the film:

Movie Trivia about TODAY’S FILM

-DID YOU KNOW that director Ron Howard got the idea for PARENTHOOD on a flight to Argentina in 1985, traveling to the location for his film GUNG HO? He was accompanied by screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, along with all of their children who Howard said were “whining, crying, throwing up and tossing junk all over the cabin.” 

-DID YOU KNOW that although PARENTHOOD is set in St. Louis, it was actually filmed in Orlando, Florida, and was the first movie shot at Universal Studios before it opened? 

-DID YOU KNOW that the film cast includes four OscarÒ winners: Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Joaquin Phoenix and Jason Robards? 

-DID YOU KNOW that Bryce Dallas Howard had her first onscreen role as a young girl in the audience of a children’s play in PARENTHOOD? Fifteen years later she would reteam with PARENTHOOD co-star Joaquin Phoenix in THE VILLAGE. 

-DID YOU KNOW that PARENTHOOD was the last film in which Joaquin Phoenix was credited by his stage name “Leaf”? 

-DID YOU KNOW to promote the film, actress Mary Steenburgen surprised expectant mothers with diaper bags and infant T-shirts at Northridge Hospital Medical Center’s maternity ward? 

-DID YOU KNOW the film was a critical and box-office success, taking in $99.3 million in box office receipts during its initial run in theaters? 

-DID YOU KNOW the film was nominated for two Academy Awards®? Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest) and Best Original Song for “I Love to See You Smile” by Randy Newman! 

-DID YOU KNOW PARENTHOOD was adapted into a TV series twice? The first was a short-lived ‘90s sitcom and the second was an hour-long dramedy for which Ron Howard and Brian Grazer returned as executive producers? 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

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-What moment or line of dialogue from the film made you laugh the hardest? 

-What is the best part about being a parent and what is the most challenging aspect? 

-How does Gil’s relationship with his own parent Frank impact the way he, in turn, chooses to parent his own children? 

-Although Steve Martin didn’t have his first child until 2012, he has played a father onscreen numerous times, from PARENTHOOD to FATHER OF THE BRIDE to CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. Why do you think Martin excels at it and what do you think it takes to convincingly play a parent onscreen? 

-Does the movie realistically portray parenthood? If you’re a parent, can you relate to the highs and lows depicted in the film? 

-How do you think the balance between comedy and drama reflect actual parenthood? 

-How does parenthood evolve as your children grow up and leave the nest? 

-How does the rollercoaster ride that Grandma Buckman describes serve as a metaphor for raising a family? 

-How would you rate PARENTHOOD? 


In this exclusive AFI Archive video, watch AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Steve Martin talk about making PARENTHOOD:

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AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

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