Ongoing Series The Revamp

The Revamp #7: Mr. Mom

Mr Mom

The Original Cast & Crew

The Crew

Director: The late Stan Dragoti’s filmography is filled with several comedic films that have a following, but a small cult following at that. Mr. Mom is likely his masterpiece in terms of a vast audience, given the success of his ‘runner ups’ such as The Man with One Red Shoe (1985) and She’s Out of Control (1989).

DP: Victor J. Kemper has quite the variety when it comes to his experience as a DP, from the smoky look of Dog Day Afternoon (1975), to the claustrophobic look of Clue (1985). While Mr. Mom did not win all of the top awards, or the praise of audiences and critics, there is the warm glow of Kemper that is watchable and at most times the more enjoyable element of the scene.

Screenwriter: Whether he was writing or directing, John Hughes remains a coming of age icon decades after his rise in the 1980s. While most people know him more for his directorial work, his writing has led to successes such as The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), and Home Alone (1990). While Mr. Mom is not as memorable as these other titles, it shows that even the mighty can have faults.

Composer: Lee Holdridge was behind some of the more iconic soundtracks of the 1980s and 1990s. From Flashdance (1983) to One Life to Live (1992-2011), it is clear that his focus on instrumental means of evoking emotion was just as important to him as any score with lyrics. His soundtrack in Mr. Mom is a good example of using jazz in Reagan era cinema to be both fun and somber.

The Cast

Michael Keaton’s performance as Jack Butler is hardly comparable to his title roles in Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989) and later Birdman (2014). While it does reflect the comedic and gentle side we see in some of his roles, it could be said that all stars have had that one performance that just did not succeed.

Teri Garr’s Caroline Butler was at times the best person to apparent role than Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Tootsie (1982), it would be great to say it was not her strongest role as a lead given how the film was received.

Martin Mull often plays an authoritative or professional in the television shows and movies he stars in. Ron is no exception (except for the addition of World’s Worst Horndog). While he rarely strayed from the comedic and the family genre (Clue (1985), Jingle All the Way (1996) and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1997-2000), it would have been interesting to see him as a more serious character in a melodrama.

Ann Jillian’s role as Joan was not as memorable, or as humorous and sultry, as Laurie Metcalf a few years later in Uncle Buck (1989). While she had roles in Babes in Toyland (1961) and Mae West (1982) that appear to be her equally important roles, Joan seems to be the most recent and most stand out for the bombshell.

Jeffrey Tambor can play the slinky and cowardly sidekick or secondary character, as well as the prominent lead in his previous television and film roles. While he was funny in Arrested Development (2003-19), and vulnerable in Transparent (2014-17), his role as Jinx shows that he can explore that range of motive and reaction depending on the role and plot.

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