Wednesday, June 15, 2011

POV Wednesday – Fathers and Daughters

Many movies I like feature strong father/daughter relationships. I’m drawn to those stories, I think, because from my point of view, I am blessed with a strong relationship with my dad, who I think is the greatest. Although I probably could have tolerated a few siblings, I enjoy being his one and only baby girl. I wish we lived close enough that I could hug his neck on Father’s Day this Sunday. This cyber-hug will have to suffice.

In honor of great dads everywhere, here’s my top five list of favorite father/daughter flicks!

#5 – What a Girl Wants – A tween comedy starring Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth about a New York City girl who finds out her father is English royalty and hops a plane to search him out. Their awkward meeting and falling in love with each other offers lots of sweet moments and laughs.

#4 – Hairspray – This musical recently redone featuring an updated, star-studded cast is not primarily about the relationship between Tracy and her quirky father played by equally quirky and wonderful Christopher Walken. However, the story advances at key points because he lovingly intervenes on his daughter’s behalf and empowers her to reach for lofty dreams.

#3 – Despicable Me – Steve Carell voices the main animated character, Gru, a ‘bad guy’ who’s not such a ‘bad guy.’ In his line of work, professional villainy, he’s prepared to do anything to get ahead of the other bad guys, including adopting three adorable little girls to use to gain access to his arch-rival’s fortress. Barely tolerating them at first, Gru comes to love the girls, learning much about life in the process.

#2 – Pride & Prejudice – I read this Jane Austen book every year or so because it’s one of my favorites. Though many versions have been attempted on film, my favorite is the Keira Knightley edition from 2005. Whoever acts it, the fact remains that Mr. Bennett has a special calling in life to be father to five daughters, especially in his 18th Century time period. He excels in his fatherly duties, however, because he knows his daughters and their differences, thus treating them as their disposition requires. His relationship with Lizzy is special because he recognizes her intelligence and does not penalize her for it. His actions and decisions make a happy life possible, and eventually a reality, for her.

#1 – To Kill a Mockingbird – Also a great book, by Harper Lee, the 1962 movie treats the story with great respect and excellence. The late great Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the South a few decades shy of civil liberation. He has a unique daughter in Scout, a scruffy tomboy who also is smart as a whip. I love the scenes he explains things to her and answers her questions, with so much patience and wisdom. He instructs, disciplines and loves gently, consistently, purposefully, bravely – not only with words, but through bold actions and example. And in so doing, he changes Scout’s life for the better forever. No wonder Atticus Finch is rated AFI’s #1 hero of all time.

How fitting that a good father receive such a title.

Happy Father’s Day, Dry Ground friends! Hug their necks, say ‘thank you,’ and appreciate all dads today!

(photos by