Plot: Jack (Michael Keaton) is a skilled engineer at a manufacturing plant, but times have been tough of late and layoffs have been consistent. Despite his hard work, Jack is cut loose and when the work options are all but nonexistent, his wife Caroline (Teri Garr) steps in and lands a position at an ad agency. This means Jack has to take over the household duties such as cleaning, cooking, and caring for the couple’s three young children, not things he is familiar with. While Caroline finds almost instant success at work, Jack struggles to keep things under control and the house turns into chaos, leaving Jack in a not so great mental state. As time passes, Caroline continues to ascend at work and Jack starts to get into a routine, but the situation strains their relationship and takes a toll on Jack’s personal welfare. But as each one settles into this new routine, will they be able to make things work and keep their family in order, or will it lead to some kind of eventual breakdown?
Entertainment Value: Mr. Mom is obviously a dated premise at this point, as we don’t have the strict gender roles as shown in the movie, but the film remains popular and still has a lot to offer. A movie’s narrative isn’t all it has on showcase and in the case of Mr. Mom, it is the cast that keeps the picture relevant. This was Michael Keaton’s first lead role and he makes the most of it, turning in a warm, comic performance that made sure he became a household name. Without his charm and presence, Mr. Mom would have slid into obscurity by this point, so Keaton’s performance carries the movie and that is a testament to his likability. Teri Garr is also good here, looking beautiful and giving us a strong female character, while Martin Mull is fun to watch as a sleazy corporate goon, giving us a bad guy to focus on. The supporting cast is also impressive, with Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, and Ann Jillian in a great performance as the neighborhood sex goddess. Mr. Mom is light, brisk humor that plays on the universal challenge of parenthood, while also poking fun at the gender roles of the time and how we view masculinity. Not a deep movie by any means, but it remains as a charming comedy with some terrific performances. So even though the premise is outdated, the movie itself remains popular and relevant.
No nakedness. No blood. This is a family friendly comedy, so of course these elements don’t have a presence. Keaton does wield a chainsaw at one point to intimidate Mull, but sadly he doesn’t saw the creep in half. The dialogue is light, brisk fluff and that’s fine, as it suits the nature of the movie. A few serious moments pop in, as relationship issues surface, but the movie still keeps things light even in those instances. I still think some good lines come through however, so while fluff at heart, a lot of the humor still lands and works well. This is not a movie to watch for craziness, but it does have some stuff to watch for. The soap opera fantasy is a lot of fun, as are the weird relationships Jack has with the various help he hires, like the exterminator and television repairwoman. So some nice quirky moments, but of course, these aren’t insane level things, so no points awarded. But Mr. Mom wasn’t made to bend your brain, so it would be silly to think it would be some trippy cinematic ride.
Overall Insanity: 0/10