From adventures to heart-wrenching dramas, these movies capture the essence of fatherhood—the selflessness, strength, and unconditional love that shape the relationship between a father and his child. As we celebrate Father’s Day, let’s honour and appreciate the fathers who inspire us, uplift us, and play a vital role in shaping the people we become.
‘THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS’
Starring the iconic real-life father and son duo of Will Smith and Jaden Smith, this 2006 movie is based on the real-life story of Chris Gardner and his struggle as a single father trying to make ends meet and cater for his son. The movie was critically acclaimed and got Will Smith both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor that year.
This 2021 film, directed by Renaldo Marcus Green, also stars Will Smith and is based on the true story of Serena and Venus Williams and the impact their father, Richard Williams, had on their successful tennis careers. Coming from a lowly background, Richard Williams pushed and supported his daughters to become two of the best tennis players the world has ever seen.
‘DADDY’S HOME’ & ‘DADDY’S HOME 2‘
This 2015 movie and its 2017 sequel hilariously tell the story of nearly every stepfather vying for the love and respect of their stepchildren. In these movies, we find the stepfathers ridiculously pitting themselves against the biological fathers to gain the attention of the kids, with the sequel taking it up a notch by introducing the granddads from both sides.
‘I AM SAM‘
Released in 2001 and directed by Jessie Nelson, this movie tells the moving story of a father with an intellectual disability battling to win custody of his daughter and prove that he is capable of raising her. Sean Penn, in the lead role of the disabled father, was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars and SAG Awards for his performance.
One of the first things you notice about this movie is its unlikely lead actor, Kevin Hart, a well-known comedian. This, however, is an emotional drama that tells the story of a widower faced with the challenges of raising his infant all alone after the death of his wife. He struggles to do this amidst his doubts, fears, and invasive in-laws who do not believe him capable. It was directed by Paul Weitz and released in 2021. It is also based on a true story.