Fatherhood (2021) – Are we ready for single father?

Fatherhood is a comedy-drama that lets us experience the tragic beauty to become a father with the challenging task of raising a child by yourself.

It’s a story full of emotions that wants to challenge the society around us and provide some interesting points about parenthood. So let’s discover them together.

Fatherhood – The Story

A couple is expecting their first baby. Matt is preparing for this new role, but he feels that he is not yet ready. His beautiful partner Liz is aware of it and tries to support him. But, sometimes, life doesn’t offer us the possibility to get ready and, in the most beautiful time of her life, Liz died soon after the birth.

It’s a tragedy, a loss that is impossible to fill. The most terrible fact which can happen to a new family.

Matt finds himself alone, with his daughter and the responsibility to raise her and make her death Liz proud of him.
He will face many challenges:

  • A society not ready to deal with single fathers;
  • A family who wants to help him but with their rules;
  • His annoying friends never leave him alone, trying to help him in any way;
  • His job and career because raising a child is still a mother duty in our society;

Will Matt succeed in raising Maddy and keep the right balance in his life?

Matt and Liz in Fatherhood
Matt and Liz in Fatherhood

Fatherhood – Analysis and explanation

It’s a simple story, but not an easy one.
The movie wants us in the scene, witnessing the complex challenges Matt needs to face. We need to grieve with him for his terrible loss. We need to think about how difficult it is for a single father to raise his baby.

We have selected a couple of intriguing points delivered by this film.

1. Life is unpredictable

It’s the most obvious fact of our life but, for some reason, we often forget about this. We make plans, we dream about those, we spend our time to achieve them. But life can suddenly end, and we should be ready for the only certainty we have in our lives. Especially the death of our loved ones, which is the most terrible thing to experience.

2. How do we deal with our fears and anxiety?

We mentioned above how life can change in a moment, how our plans are so fragile but, anyway, we still feel the concern about our future and if we will be able to prevent our failures.

But if we look at Matt, we can easily understand that when life puts us in a difficult position, we do our best because our daily mission is to survive. And, suddenly, our fears disappear because we need to struggle to find a way out of our problem. Simply, doing is better than overthinking.

3. Parenting is not exclusive to women

The movie denounces how our society doesn’t adequately consider the male role in raising a baby. For instance:

  • The support group
    Matt tries to join a support group for new mums, but everyone looks a bit shocked about this. The idea that a man can raise a daughter by himself appears still fresh in our society. 
  • The work environment
    Matt’s employer is part of this problematic situation. Their priority is the business and not family. His boss tries to support him because Matt is a valid member of this team. His behaviour will change when the other women let him understand how good Matt is at managing his job, daughter, and personal life. 
  • Where is her mum?
    The way how Matt handles this question is funny, wise but very sad at the same time. Anyway, who will have ask to a mum with her baby at the park where is her daddy? Probably we are not ready for fatherhood yet.
Matt in the office
Matt in the office – Fatherhood

4. When are we ready to become a parent? 

The films make clear one concept: parenting is a skill that we learn with experience and intelligence. It can be taught. We can understand it.

Probably we will never be ready because we are humans, and we continuously change and adapt to new facts and situations.

We frequently change our minds, priorities, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t ready for this big step. We don’t need to be scared asking for help. Instead, we need to listen to our parents, friends and be humble to learn and enjoy the most fantastic experience of our life. We will always find a way to adapt and survive.

5. The importance of roles in a family

Maddy is mature for her age, probably because she suffers in her young life. And she develops more skills becoming wiser sooner. She supports her father because she understands his limitations.

Anyway, at a certain point, she needs essential people in her life, as her grandparents, Swan and the idea of a family. It’s a natural need, especially when she needs to cover the absence of the mother.

6. The complicated family relationships

The relationship between parents and children is complicated, no matters if they are young or grown men. We can see it in the way how Matt and Maddy deal with each other but also looking at how Matt behaves with his parents and mother in law. They struggled, but they are there for each other when the situation becomes critical. It’s the beauty of being a family.

Fatherhood True Friends
Fatherhood True Friends

And this principle also applies to friendship. Even the most annoying ones will never leave you alone, and they will always try to support you. Perhaps, also because we can’t easily live without them, and they become part of our family and life.

7. Fatherhood challenges the conformist society

After what we discovered together in the points described above, we should reconsider that this is not a simple story. The film shows us how our modern society is not ready to support a single father.
But there is more.

Matt challenges the rules of the system, teaching Maddy to behaves as she likes. For example:

  • The need to wear a skirt at school, which ends in a funny way.
  • Or when Matt insists on receiving help at the support group for the new mums.
  • When he brings his daughter with him in the office.

He tries not to be conformist and challenge the system, even if the results mostly end funnily.

A particular mention goes to Kevin Hart in the role of Matt and Melody Hurd interpreting Maddy. They both deliver an incredible performance.

Our final rating for Fatherhoodh is:

Where you can watch Fatherhood

The movie is currently available on Netflix, but check this link to see where you can watch it in your country.

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