It takes just a single line in a movie to make a role model out of the unlikeliest character imaginable for most people. Take Marlon Brando's Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Just a few seconds before he said that famous offer-can't-refuse line, he said, "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man." That is a powerful line, isn't it?
Apart from lines like that, we gathered movie moms and dads that can serve as role models for parents. It's about their character's journey, the words they said, and the inspiration and motivation we get from watching the films they are in.
10 Elinor From Brave
Taking care of a whole kingdom is a responsibility enormous enough for any working mother. Elinor (Emma Thompson in Brave) really has her hands full with a stoic, but childish husband for a king. Add to that their triplet sons, the most mischievous kids in all of Scotland. Then there’s Merida, the princess who didn’t want to be one.
What can be a greater role model than a mom who juggles her four children (including the childish king) and her ever-rebellious princess daughter and does a wonderful job at it? Not to mention she turns into a bear in the middle of all of it.
9 Graham Simpkins In The Holiday
The 2006 romantic comedy film The Holiday was a film about finding true love. But there’s a heartfelt side-plot in the film that touched the hearts of many moms and dads. Graham Simpkins seemed like another typecast role for Alfie-actor Jude Law in his first few scenes. But the surprise twist is that he is a widowed father of two amazing little girls.
The way his girls are warm and accepting of Cameron Diaz’s character and how magical their bedroom was would make any parent wish they could have such sweet children, and pull off a huge tent in their kids’ rooms.
8 Molly Weasley From Harry Potter
For a loving mother of seven children, Molly Weasley really needs some magic to make everything easier in their humble home. Julie Walters played the famed Wizarding World mother in all of the eight Harry Potter films. She did all the embarrassing things moms do to their sons in front of their friends, most frequently with Ron in front of Harry and Hermione.
But we also knew she was that strong-willed mother that would do everything to protect her children, such as when she ends Bellatrix Lestrange’s life when the Voldemort minion tried to take on her own daughter, Ginny. Fearless and caring: that's what moms should be.
7 Daniel Hillard In Mrs. Doubtfire
How cool is it to have a dad that works as a voice talent in various cartoons and kids TV shows? The answer is very cool! Daniel Hillard, played by legendary comedian Robin Williams, is the protagonist father in the film Mrs. Doubtfire. He proved to everyone that he is a loving father who cares about his children more than anything else.
He went so far as to pose as the family’s middle-aged nanny. He got to spend more time with his kids, and at the same time, he kind of repairs the relationship between the kids and their mother. This dad went to great lengths with a top espionage strategy that would make Mr. Bond nod in admiration.
6 Dorothy Boyd From Jerry Maguire
We all remember Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire in this 1996 Cameron Crowe film. Second to Mr. Cruise was would-be child star Jonathan Lipnicki, who provided all the charisma in this movie. But the best portrayal in this film, one that we can most relate to, was Renee Zellweger's as Dorothy Boyd.
Zellweger played Lipnicki's mom, a young mom blessed with an amazing son who couldn't quite get the same luck when it came to her love life. But here, she does everything for Jerry Maguire, except when it comes to his baby boy. It's where a mother draws the line.
5 Charlie Hinton In Daddy Day Care
Charlie Hinton is a dad caught up in circumstances that could happen to any parent in the real world. But Eddie Murphy’s character Charlie, in the film Daddy Day Care, adjusted to the situation and got through the rough time by being innovative, resourceful, and tough.
The daycare business is not for the weak and, as Charlie quickly learns, it’s as cutthroat as any industry. But he got to spend more time with his son and that’s why he stuck with it. The movie ends with their little project becoming one of the biggest daycare centers in their area.
4 Isabel Pullman From Wonder
This family is no ordinary family, but the virtues and personality of each member is nothing new for us. They are just another family in an extraordinary situation, and the mom, Isabel Pullman, is the one holding everybody together.
Portrayed seamlessly by Oscar-winner Julia Roberts, Wonder is a film that’s great for kids and, even more importantly, for parents. It gives us hope that no matter how many curve balls life throws our way, we stand still and keep swinging. Auggie and Isabel's quotes were precious, ones we can use with our own kids as words of encouragement, realization, and reflection.
3 Gru In Despicable Me
This dad is proof that no matter what one’s past was, how bad or dark they might think it was, there is still a chance that it could change. Gru certainly never thought that he would change while vying to be the greatest villain of all time. But as we found in the animated film Despicable Me, Gru got it all wrong.
His villain life changed as soon as three adorable girls came in and "ruined" it. He started going to dance recitals, amusement parks, and found he enjoyed the change. Steve Carell plays Gru in this heart-warming film that teaches every dad out there that there's a lot of fun that can be had when spent with the kids if they allow themselves to enjoy it.
2 Leigh Anne Tuohy From The Blind Side
It seems like a well-to-do family would have several issues, but in real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy’s case, baggage is a part of life and not an obstacle. She's got a loving husband and two unbelievably well-adjusted kids. She’s like a perfectionist that would do something about anything that bothers her.
Adopting a young man and changing his life forever through football, portrayed in The Blind Side, sounds just like a project for her. But it is that innate desire and her overall personality that makes us believe in ourselves, after watching the film, that we can be better people.
1 Chris Gardner In The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner’s story is sad and frustrating at the beginning; it's shaping up to be the worst day of any father’s life. But The Pursuit of Happyness is a portrayal of a father’s perseverance, a display of what a dad is willing to go through and sacrifice for his own son.
Homeless, stuck with a broken bone density scanning machine, and with very little money, Chris Gardner swallows his pride and everything for his son and their future. Real-life father and son Will Smith and Jaden Smith play the father and son role in this movie.