Movies & Television

The Best Movies That Celebrate Single Fathers

While movies and films are mostly fiction, they can do a great job of depicting various lifestyles, including single fatherhood. Many of the movies on our list will leave you with things to think about. Here is our complete list of the best movies that celebrate single fathers.

The Descendants (2011)

The Descendants is about a father, Matt King (George Clooney), trying to reconnect with his two young daughters (Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller.) After a boating accident leaves his wife in a coma, Matt must cope with the decision of his wife’s will, face pressure from family relatives about the family’s land trust, and be a father to his daughters.

If you’re looking for a movie that captures the unpredictable messiness of learning to be a single father, The Descendants might pique your interest.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

In the movie Kramer vs. Kramer, Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) receives one of the biggest jobs of his career while learning that his wife, Joanna (Meryl Streep), is leaving him and his son Billy. Now raising his son alone, Ted finds help from another single parent and forms a strong relationship with Billy. The story picks up when Joana returns to claim full custody of their son.

In this riveting tale, you’ll go through a rollercoaster of emotions. It discusses themes of gender roles in parenthood, fathers’ rights, and a work-life balance.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

If you have yet to watch Will Smith and his real-life son star in The Pursuit of Happyness, you need to add this to your must-watch list. The father in this story, Chris, finds himself and his son in a predicament when they are evicted from their apartment. Chris eventually finds an internship, but it doesn’t pay money. As the father and son endure hardships and live in shelters, Will Smith’s character struggles with despair while creating a better life for himself and his son.

The Pursuit of Happyness is all about perseverance, listening to your intuition, and finding the determination to pursue your dreams.

The Whale (2022)

For our most recent movie that celebrates single fathers, let’s talk about The Whale. Brendan Fraser stars as a single father, Charlie, struggling with morbid obesity and the need to reconcile his relationship with his teenage daughter, Ellie, played by Sadie Sink. Charlie hasn’t seen his daughter in eight years, and he must learn to be an engaged and supportive father to Ellie, who is also struggling through life.

This movie teaches us the hardships of caring for yourself and a child while redeeming the relationship at the same time.

As an honorable mention, we couldn’t close out this quick read without bringing up our favorite single dad, Marlin, from Finding Nemo. Yes, you can even find inspiring stories of strong single parents in children’s movies. Will you add any of these must-watch movies to your list? Which one of these films will you watch first?

Dianne Pajo
the authorDianne Pajo
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.

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