With an opening sequence that will leave you either laughing or disgusted, “Parenthood” is one of those films that seems inherently sweet on the outside, but challenges its audience once it gets started. This is a movie that takes a lot of risks, dealing with teenage pregnancy, puberty, depression, gambling addiction and more. But with the help of a cast consisting of both comic and dramatic greats, including Steve Martin, Dianne Wiest and Tom Hulce, Howard handles the material like a pro.
While some aspects of “Parenthood” have gotten older than others, this is a movie that is impossible not to love. Of course, the setting from the 80s gives it a dated charm, but that does not diminish how incredibly relatable it is for parents of all ages. And with some unforgettable sequences and themes plus surprising appearances like Keanu Reeves and a very young Joaquin Phoenix, there are many treats to be found in this lovely lifestyle story.