OK, we are 24 hours late on this, but if you’re making this Father’s Week rather than Day, then this charming film from director Bryce Dallas Howard will put a smile on your face. It’s not a scientific analysis of the role that dads play in our lives, but it’s celeb-laden, warm and full of humanity. And, reviewers are liking it.
The FT’s Danny Leigh describes Dads as “chipper” calling it a “how-to and repair job for the troubled brand. A common thread is the chasm between the scale of responsibility and the lack of formal guidance.” He goes on: “between the lines the message is grown-up — an ode to basic competence. The rest applies equally to parents and politicians. The ultimate verdict on your performance will not be yours to give.” Cath Clarke in the Guardian cautions “You’ll need to stomach some Hollywood smuggery before getting to the good bits in this Apple TV documentary.” She says that contributions from the likes of Will Smith and Jimmy Kimmel “may make you feel a bit sick – but beyond them are six genuinely moving stories.” In The Times Kevin Maher agrees saying that most of the film, “is, instead, Howard’s thoughtful vignettes from around the world that focus on fathers in unusual circumstances coming to terms with the life-changing parameters of the gig.” These stories, he says, are expertly crafted by Howard. “They each somehow speak to the contradictory and yet not mutually exclusive archetypes that define most fathers, often at one and the same time: the hero and the jerk.”
At only 80 minutes Dad’s is a heart-warming piece of family television. As Will Smith says in the film – how come you get a 1,000 page manual when you buy a new TV set, but “they send you home with a baby and nothing?”
First shown June 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.