Mr. Mom

Last updated
Mr. Mom
Mr mom poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stan Dragoti
Screenplay by John Hughes
Produced by
Cinematography Victor J. Kemper
Edited byPatrick Kennedy
Music by Lee Holdridge
Distributed by 20th Century Fox [1]
Release date
  • July 22, 1983 (1983-07-22)(United States)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million [2]
Box office$64.8 million [1]

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. [3]

Ron Howard was offered the opportunity to direct the film but turned it down to do Splash . [4]

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. [3] 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. [5]


Critical response

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". [6] 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. [7]

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." [8] On Metacritic, it received a weighted average score of 50 out of 100 based on seven critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [9]

Box office

The film opened to limited release on July 22, 1983, with $947,197, earning the number 13 spot that weekend. [10] 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. [11] Mr. Mom ended up earning $64 million in the US. [1] Its success led Universal to sign a three-picture deal with Hughes for $30 million. [12] Those three films he would later release for the studio were Sixteen Candles , The Breakfast Club , and Weird Science .

Television series

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. [13] 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. [14]


No.Title [15] Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [15]
1"Pilot"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 12, 2019 (2019-09-12)
2"What About the Kids?"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 12, 2019 (2019-09-12)
3"The List"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 19, 2019 (2019-09-19)
4"The Sandman"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 19, 2019 (2019-09-19)
5"Good Cop, Good Cop"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 19, 2019 (2019-09-19)
6"Date Night"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 26, 2019 (2019-09-26)
7"The Salad Days"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheSeptember 26, 2019 (2019-09-26)
8"Pitches Be Crazy"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheOctober 3, 2019 (2019-10-03)
9"Crickets"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheOctober 3, 2019 (2019-10-03)
10"Sick Day"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheOctober 10, 2019 (2019-10-10)
11"Three, Two, One"LPMike Culbert, Mike Pellettieri & Leslie RatheOctober 10, 2019 (2019-10-10)

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Batman</i> (1989 film) 1989 superhero film by Tim Burton

Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Directed by Tim Burton, it is the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film was produced by Jon Peters and Peter Guber and stars Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance. The film takes place early in the title character's war on crime and depicts his conflict with his archenemy The Joker.

<i>Tootsie</i> 1982 film by Sydney Pollack

Tootsie is a 1982 American satirical romantic comedy film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Dustin Hoffman. Its supporting cast includes Pollack, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, Charles Durning, George Gaynes, Geena Davis and Doris Belack. The film tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult drives him to adopt a new identity as a woman to land a job. The film was adapted by Larry Gelbart, Barry Levinson (uncredited), Elaine May (uncredited) and Murray Schisgal from a story by Gelbart and Don McGuire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diane Keaton</span> American film actress (born 1946)

Diane Keaton is an American actress. She has received various accolades throughout her career spanning over six decades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, two Golden Globe Awards. She was honored with the Film Society of Lincoln Center Gala Tribute in 2007 and an AFI Life Achievement Award in 2017.

<i>Pale Rider</i> 1985 film by Clint Eastwood

Pale Rider is a 1985 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as the pale horse's ghost rider (Eastwood) represents Death. The film, which took in over $41 million at the box office, became the highest-grossing Western of the 1980s.

<i>Pretty in Pink</i> 1986 film by Howard Deutch

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American teen romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in American high schools in the 1980s. A cult classic, it is commonly identified as a "Brat Pack" film. It was directed by Howard Deutch, produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, and written by John Hughes, who also served as co-executive producer. The film was named after a song by the Psychedelic Furs, and the film's soundtrack, which has been acclaimed as "among the most brilliant in modern cinema", features a re-recorded version of the song. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "If You Leave" became an international hit and charted at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1986.

<i>Dave</i> (film) 1993 film by Gary Ross

Dave is a 1993 American political comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Gary Ross, and starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Laura Linney, Ving Rhames, Charles Grodin, and Ben Kingsley appear in supporting roles.

<i>Shes Out of Control</i> 1989 film by Stan Dragoti

She's Out of Control is a 1989 American independent coming of age comedy film directed by Stan Dragoti. Starring Tony Danza, Ami Dolenz and Catherine Hicks. The original music score was composed by Alan Silvestri. The film was marketed with the tagline "She was Daddy's little girl. Now she's at that age when girls go wild, guys go crazy and Dads go nuts". The film was shot with the working title Daddy's Little Girl.

<i>Baby Boom</i> (film) 1987 film by Charles Shyer

Baby Boom is a 1987 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Charles Shyer, written by Nancy Meyers and Shyer, and produced by Meyers and Bruce A. Block for United Artists. It stars Diane Keaton as a yuppie who discovers that a long-lost cousin has died, leaving her a fourteen-month-old baby girl as inheritance.

<i>Speechless</i> (1994 film) 1994 film

Speechless is a 1994 American romantic comedy film directed by Ron Underwood. It stars Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Bonnie Bedelia, Ernie Hudson, and Christopher Reeve.

<i>Jinxed!</i> (1982 film) 1982 film by Don Siegel

Jinxed! is a 1982 American comedy film starring Bette Midler, Rip Torn and Ken Wahl. The film was the last to be directed by Don Siegel, who suffered a heart attack during production. Sam Peckinpah directed some of the film, but without a screen credit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lauren Shuler Donner</span> American film producer

Lauren Diane Shuler Donner is an American film producer, who specializes in mainstream youth and family-oriented entertainment. She owned The Donners' Company with her late husband, director Richard Donner. Her films have grossed about $5.5 billion worldwide including major contributions from the X-Men film series.

<i>Mrs. Soffel</i> 1984 film by Gillian Armstrong

Mrs. Soffel is a 1984 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong, starring Diane Keaton and Mel Gibson and based on the story of condemned brothers Jack and Ed Biddle, who escaped prison with the aid of the warden's wife, Kate Soffel.

<i>Frost/Nixon</i> (film) 2008 historical drama film

Frost/Nixon is a 2008 historical drama film based on the 2006 play of the same name by Peter Morgan, who also adapted the screenplay. The film tells the story behind the Frost/Nixon interviews of 1977. The film was directed by Ron Howard. A co-production of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, the film was produced for Universal Pictures by Howard, Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment, and Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films, and received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.

<i>Looking for Mr. Goodbar</i> (film) 1977 film by Richard Brooks

Looking for Mr. Goodbar is a 1977 American crime drama film, based on Judith Rossner's best-selling 1975 novel of the same name, which was inspired by the 1973 murder of New York City schoolteacher Roseann Quinn. The film was written and directed by Richard Brooks, and stars Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, William Atherton, Richard Kiley and Richard Gere.

<i>Post Grad</i> 2009 American film

Post Grad is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Vicky Jenson and starring Alexis Bledel, about a recent college graduate who moves back in with her family while she figures out what she wants to do next.

<i>Brooklyns Finest</i> 2009 film by Antoine Fuqua

Brooklyn's Finest is a 2009 American crime film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Michael C. Martin. The film stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes. Brooklyn's Finest had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 2009 and was released theatrically in the United States on March 5, 2010.

<i>Dance Flick</i> 2009 American film

Dance Flick is a 2009 American musical comedy film directed by Damien Dante Wayans in his directorial debut and written by and starring many members of the Wayans family. The film was set for release in the United States on February 6, 2009, and changed to May 22, 2009.

On the Buses is a 1971 British comedy film directed by Harry Booth and starring Reg Varney and Doris Hare. The film is the first spin-off film from the TV sitcom On the Buses and was followed by two further films, Mutiny on the Buses (1972) and Holiday on the Buses (1973). The films are set within a slightly different canon from the TV series: Stan and Jack work for a different bus company, and the three films form a loose story arc where Arthur and Olive become parents.

<i>Mutiny on the Buses</i> 1972 British film

Mutiny on the Buses is a 1972 British comedy film directed by Harry Booth and starring Reg Varney and Doris Hare. The film is the second spin-off film from the TV sitcom On the Buses and succeeded On the Buses (1971). It was followed by a third film Holiday on the Buses (1973). The film was produced by Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe for Hammer Films. Mutiny on the Buses came 17th in the 1972 box office.

<i>Morning Glory</i> (2010 film) 2010 film by Roger Michell

Morning Glory is a 2010 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell and written by Aline Brosh McKenna. Starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum, the film tells the story of an upstart television producer who accepts the challenge of reviving a morning show program with warring co-hosts.


  1. 1 2 3 Mr. Mom at Box Office Mojo
  2. "'Mr. Mom' TV Series Remake Headed to Streaming from Vudu and MGM". TheWrap . October 10, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  3. 1 2 Priggé, Steven (2004). Movie Moguls Speak: Interviews with Top Film Producers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 90–91. ISBN   0-7864-1929-6.
  4. Cormier, Roger (2016-03-16). "15 Surprising Facts About Splash". Mental Floss. Retrieved 2021-12-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Plume, Kenneth (30 November 2000). "Interview with Producer Lauren Shuler Donner (Part 1 of 2)".
  6. Martin, Leonard (2006). Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide . Signet Books. p.  879. ISBN   0-451-21265-7.
  7. Ebert, Roger (August 22, 1983). "Mr. Mom Movie Review & Film Summary (1983)". Chicago Sun-Times .
  8. "Mr. Mom". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  9. "Mr. Mom Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  10. "Weekend Box Office Results for July 22-24, 1983". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  11. "Weekend Box Office Results for August 19-21, 1983". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  12. Lallch, Richard (January 1993). "Big Baby". Spy : 77. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  13. Ramos, Dino-Ray (October 10, 2018). "'Mr. Mom' Returns: MGM Teams With Vudu To Revive '80s Classic". Deadline. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  14. Pedersen, Erik (August 26, 2019). "'Mr. Mom' Trailer: First Original Series From Walmart's Vudu Streaming Service". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  15. 1 2 "Mr. Mom – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved September 18, 2019.