As we consider the story of parents in Captain Fantastic (see the Aug. 4 Reel Dad column), let’s look at a range of movies about parenthood on television this weekend.
Here is what’s showing on broadcast and cable stations.
While, yes, this is a film about a shark, it’s also a story about a dad who wants to protect his kids. That he is also the sheriff of the island under siege makes for a classic tale of how far people will go to protect those they love. Roy Scheider hits the notes as the dad of the moment.
Friday, August 5, 6:45 p.m., AMC
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Leave it to Robin Williams to create a father’s ultimate commitment in this funny and touching tale of a dad who simply wants to be near his kids. While Sally Field makes life difficult for dad, his sense of humor (and strong imagination) create a solution no one could imagine.
Friday, August 5, 7 p.m., Bravo
Rosalind Russell shines as the stage mother to end them all in this movie adaptation of the Broadway musical. While Roz may not be much of a singer – and relies on the voice of Lisa Kirk to hit most of her notes – she brings real fire to a complex role of a mother who may love too much.
Friday, August 5, 5:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
While Steven Spielberg’s classic take on the Normandy landings brings D-Day to life, its quiet moments are as effective as its well-staged battles. Tom Hanks adds another powerful everyman to his acting gallery as a citizen soldier who just wants to go home and be a dad.
Friday, August 5, 8 p.m., A and E
9 to 5 (1980)
While most of the humor of this popular comedy focuses on the workplace, the range of Lily Tomlin’s anxiety reaches the pressures of being a working mother who just wants to survive the day. This great comedienne makes the most of each gesture and nuance in a delightful portrayal.
Friday, August 5, 8 p.m., CMT; Saturday, August 6, 5 p.m., CMT
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Yes, Tom Cruise spends most of the movie chasing the bad guys, searching for the good guys, and trying to be the ultimate hero in a complicated narrative of intrigue and espionage. And, from the heart, he plays a young man who wants to protect his father’s reputation.
Friday, August 5, 8 p.m., IFC
When we are teenagers, we learn how to trust by stretching our boundaries. While we may rely on our parents, we test ourselves in new relationships to determine what feels secure. This coming-of-age tale reminds us what parents can overlook no matter how well intentioned.
Friday, August 5, 8 p.m., POP
The Rookie (2002)
Even dads have dreams as Dennis Quaid brings to life in this Disney tale – based on a true story – of a middle-aged man who makes one last attempt to play major league baseball. While the outcome may be a bit obvious, Quaid’s authentic portrayal makes us believe every moment.
Saturday, August 6, 11:40 a.m., FXM
Enjoy the movies!