|Directed by||Stan Dragoti|
|Screenplay by||John Hughes|
|Cinematography||Victor J. Kemper|
|Edited by||Patrick Kennedy|
|Music by||Lee Holdridge|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$64.8 million|
Mr. Mom is a 1983 American comedy film directed by Stan Dragoti and produced by Lynn Loring, Lauren Shuler, and Aaron Spelling. It stars Michael Keaton (in his first lead role), Teri Garr, Martin Mull, Ann Jillian, and Christopher Lloyd. It tells the story of a furloughed Detroit automotive engineer who becomes a stay-at-home dad and takes care of three young children, as his wife returns to a career in the advertising industry as an executive at a large agency. Released on July 22, 1983, the film received generally positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $64 million against its $5 million budget.
Jack Butler lives with his wife, Caroline, and their children Alex, Kenny, and Megan, in a Detroit suburb. During the early-1980s recession, Jack and his friends Larry and Stan lose their engineering jobs at the Ford Motor Company. Caroline, having been a housewife for years, uses her college education and experience working in advertising to re-enter the workforce, leaving Jack to deal with the new and bewildering responsibilities of a stay-at-home dad.
Jack discovers childcare and house maintenance involve a complex juggling act, and his initial struggles in daily errands gain the attention and company of other neighborhood housewives. Eventually, he hits his stride and although somewhat distracted by the flirtatious Joan (a neighbor and friend of Caroline's), he begins to feel confined by suburban domestic life. Simultaneously, he feels threatened by Caroline's responsibilities and work-life as a fast-climbing ad executive.
Meanwhile, Caroline contends with challenges in the workforce: her maternal and housekeeping instincts jeopardize her position as a sophisticated executive, and her boss Ron Richardson is intent on having his way with her. During a pitch to a hard-to-please client, Caroline's insight as a budget-conscious housewife proves invaluable. The client's president wants her to fly to Los Angeles to help shoot a commercial.
In the meantime, Jack's former employer invites him to interview for his old job, but his former supervisor Jinx betrayed his reputation. Jack lectures them on dirty practices and storms out.
Ron tries to convince Caroline to leave Jack and marry him while Joan continues to try and seduce Jack. After a commercial shoot in Los Angeles, Caroline relaxes in her hotel bathtub. Ron sneaks into her room with champagne. Back home, Jack tries calling her so the kids can talk to her, but Ron answers. He hangs up, leading Jack to think his wife is having an affair. Caroline fends off Ron and quits her job.
The next day dawns with repair people in the home to fix a broken television and spray for bugs. Caroline arrives home unexpectedly, and she and Jack talk over their misunderstandings, reuniting as a stronger couple. Ron stops by begging Caroline to come back to work as the client thinks only she can properly handle their account. However, Caroline says she intends to get a better job and has missed her family. Though she finally agrees to stay with the agency after Ron agrees to offer her the chance to work from home 2 days a week and reduce her workload in order for her to have the chance to spend more time with her family. Jinx also comes begging for Jack to return to work. Jack punches Jinx in the face for being rude to Jack's son and says he won't come back to work unless Larry and Stan do also. Jinx accepts the conditions.
On the newly repaired TV, the national commercial Caroline helped produce is being broadcast.
While working at Motown Productions, story editor and struggling producer Lauren Shuler read an article in National Lampoon written by John Hughes and kept in touch with him. One day, Hughes told Shuler about a disastrous experience he had looking after his two children in the absence of his wife, which Shuler found hilarious. After Hughes asked if that could make a good movie, she replied that "it sure sounds funny to me". Hughes wrote the film and flew to Los Angeles to rewrite the script with Shuler. As Hughes had a TV deal with Aaron Spelling, he brought him in as an executive producer. Studio executives at Universal Studios, unhappy that Hughes worked in Chicago and not Los Angeles, fired him, bringing in a group of TV writers to remake his script.
Ron Howard was offered the opportunity to direct the film but turned it down to do Splash.
At this point, the studio decided to turn the project into a feature film instead of a television movie. Shuler, who remained as a producer, said that while she liked the final product, she thought Hughes' original script was better. Shuler was told by a friend, agent Laurie Perlman, about "this guy who is really funny" whom she represented, Michael Keaton. After meeting Keaton and seeing his screen debut, 1982's Night Shift, Shuler sent the actor the Mr. Mom script.
Leonard Maltin gave it 2.5 stars out of 4, stating "pleasant enough rehash of age-old sitcom premise" and adding "likable stars make it palatable, but you've seen it all before". Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times similarly gave the film 2 stars out of 4, describing Mr. Mom as "a lost opportunity" for resorting to cliches rather than finding humor in the characters as portrayed by the "promising" and talented cast.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Mr. Mom makes up for its stereotype-driven premise with a sweet script and charming work from a well-matched cast led by Michael Keaton and Teri Garr." On Metacritic, it received a weighted average score of 50 out of 100 based on seven critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The film opened to limited release on July 22, 1983, with $947,197, earning the number 13 spot that weekend. Upon its wide release on August 19, 1983, a month later, it opened at number 3 with $4,279,384 behind Easy Money's opening weekend and Risky Business' third. Mr. Mom ended up earning $64 million in the US. Its success led Universal to sign a three-picture deal with Hughes for $30 million. Those three films he would later release for the studio were Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Weird Science.
A television adaptation of the 1983 film by MGM and Walmart's streaming service Vudu serves as a continuation of the film, following an adult Megan Butler heading back into the workforce while her husband takes over the parental duties of their two children. The series serves as the first original series for the streaming service; it stars Andrea Anders and Hayes MacArthur as Megan and Greg Anderson, respectively, and premiered on September 12, 2019.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original air date |
|1||"Pilot"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 12, 2019|
|2||"What About the Kids?"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 12, 2019|
|3||"The List"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 19, 2019|
|4||"The Sandman"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 19, 2019|
|5||"Good Cop, Good Cop"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 19, 2019|
|6||"Date Night"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 26, 2019|
|7||"The Salad Days"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||September 26, 2019|
|8||"Pitches Be Crazy"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||October 3, 2019|
|9||"Crickets"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||October 3, 2019|
|10||"Sick Day"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||October 10, 2019|
|11||"Three, Two, One"||LP||Mike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie Rathe||October 10, 2019|
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