Fatherhood has been written and directed by Paul Weitz and has been co-written by Dana Stevens. It is based on “Two kisses for Maddy; A memoir of Loss and Love” by Matt Logelin.
It essays the story of a father who lost his wife and brought his daughter up as a single parent. It takes us to the journey of a father whose inept ways and means are questioned at each and every step. Let’s dive into this journey and assess the highs and lows of the film.
‘Fatherhood’ Plot Summary
Liz Logelin (Deborah Ayorinde) suffers a complication as soon as she gives birth. She doesn’t survive the health complications. Matt Logelin is left to fend for himself in a situation he wasn’t even scarcely prepared for. With a just born in his hand and a whole bunch of responsibilities that come with that, Matt doesn’t know what to say or what to do. His mother-in-law, Marion, suggests that he should give the child to them. Even Matt’s mother agrees that at least he should move to their city if he doesn’t want to give the child altogether. But Matt agrees to neither. He has his job in his city, and he feels that if there is anyone who should be bringing up the child, it should be him.
The film takes us through the challenges he faces as a father. I say challenges because those were the things he never thought he would do and that too alone. The role of a father in our society is always complementary to that of a mother. It’s not because we males do not have that emotional quotient, but we are more than happy to take the back seat as it is a much easier thing to do. Bringing up a child is no cinch, and Matt never believed that the vicissitudes of his life would turn into a tide and blow him away.
A Diluted Drama
Paul Weitz has created his characters with fewer nuances but a lot of subtlety. He loses the hold in his narration and treatment of the scene. The scene in the starting few minutes of the film, where Matt is still mourning his wife and the funeral is taking place, should have been a heart-wrenching scene, but it isn’t. Instead, to just provide some quick comic relief, the director loses out on the emotional quotient. It is not like there are no conflicts, but they are not unique or gigantic enough to arrest your attention. It is the same old things that you might have seen in multiple other films. A father raising her daughter alone has bigger impediments than just changing the diapers. The film does open a few intriguing plot points but never really goes deep into it and leaves it halfway.
Kevin Hart and Melody Hurd’s chemistry is the most organic and adorable thing. Also, Dewanda Wise, playing the character of Swan, has some sweet on-screen moments with Melody Hurd. Her onscreen presence is charming, and with Kevin Hart, she just lights up the screen.
Alfre Woodard, like Marion, is as reliable as ever. Her character oozes out strength, dependability, and a kind of belief in her own abilities, but at the same time, it reflects a sense of unguardedness. She wants the best for her granddaughter, but she cannot deny the presence of a man whom her daughter chose for herself. These little conflicts and dilemmas are nourished even more by her performance.
Though Kevin Hart tries his best to coruscate the world of Matt Logelin, the narrative lets him down. Fatherhood is not disappointing, it has its moments, but you won’t miss anything even if you miss out on this one.
Fatherhood is a 2021 Comedy Drama film directed by Paul Weitz.