When Will Dads Stop Being Hollywood's Whipping Boys?

One of the big movie trailers burning its way across the Internet this week is the slapstick-heavy promo for Disney’s upcoming Old Dogs, which—in the grand tradition of Mr. Mom, Three Men and a Baby, Daddy Day Care, and countless others—appears to revolve entirely around the oh-so-hilarious idea that men are clueless about children. In Old Dogs, the predictably cast John Travolta and Robin Williams show how unprepared they are to be in the presence of a pair of 7-year old twins. Tagline: “Sit. Stay. Play Dad.” Because, of course, men have to struggle to act like a father, to fake their way through it—they couldn’t simply be good parents. Haven’t we come farther than this?

Someone needs to write a memo to the heads of all major production companies and inform them that men are more involved in their children’s lives today than ever before; that there are literally millions of stay-at-home dads in the country; that “Duh, where is the diaper supposed to go?” jokes should have gone the way of Dave Coulier’s career. Each time another of these movies hits theaters, I get riled up. Maybe I’m being oversensitive, but I suppose incompetent-dad farces hit me the same way fat-suit comedies may hit people who aren’t size smalls. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be so concerned with a movie that centers its trailer around Seth Green being hit in the crotch with a golf ball and chased by a fake gorilla.

Not all movie dads are bad. Check out the onscreen dads we adore!

Is the know-nothing dad realistic, or a Hollywood stereotype? Chime in below!

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