Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Steve Martin: Cinema's Uber Dad!

Is it me, or was Steve Martin born to play the sentimental Dad on screen? Maybe it's something about his face. When it's sad, we're sad. When it smiles we smile. That rubbery, cheeky smile was a trusting and inviting feature even when Martin was playing "wild and crazy guys" on screen, decades ago. So maybe that's why, when director Ron Howard matched Martin's face to the central "Dad" character of his film Parenthood, he created a new persona for Martin on-screen: the Uber Dad! And that persona fit like a glove. Afterall, who wouldn't want a Dad like Steve Martin? Sure, he's a bit over-the-top when it comes to his family (he may spy on his daughter's date, or check out his future in-law's bank account), but if you have (as I have) viewed Parenthood, Father of the Bride, Father of the Bride II, Cheaper By the Dozen and the just-released Cheaper by the Dozen 2, you'll understand he does it all with love. He loves his children above all else. He wants to protect them. He loves family and its traditions. He's always playing sports with them in the backyard. He doesn't blow his top when wacky things happen, and is the most loyal and loving husband a woman could want. He loves and respects his wife as the mother of his children but still desires her as a woman. I have no doubt, if someone decided to revive the classic Robert Young TV series Father Knows Best, and cast Martin in the lead role, it would be a huge success today. Better yet, have Martin star in a big-screen version of Father Knows Best and get Ron Howard to direct it.

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