Dad’s take whatever life throws at us, that’s what we do.
“Everyone can be a father but not everyone can be a dad.” Will Farrell in Daddy’s Home
Daddy’s Home is a comedy that begins with a question. I don’t recommend the show for young children because of the language. It is somewhat funny and overall a decent comedy. If you want a review of the movie, you can see the clip below and read this excellent summary by GMP author Jay Snook.
I watched Daddy’s Home with my family and I realized something about parenting. If you want to see the movie, go for it. But if you decide not to, I will save you from having to wade through the PG rated language, the ubiquitous competition and the rampant Daddy envy.
First off, the show does not preach, but it tells a humorous story of the negative power of envy. I have previously written about envy, where I said:
In Daddy’s Home, Will Farrell’s character nearly loses his family, his reputation and his identity because of envy. He loses himself in competition with a more muscular, cooler and buffer bio-dad.
I was disappointed that the show is so heavily embedded with a message that men are by nature competitive and envious. It is true that men are socialized to be competitive, and envy can happen, not all men are competitive or envious. And envy takes a toll (from Men, Envy and the 7 Deadly Steps).
Not only can it impact mental health, but envy can also:
- Impact our physical health. Envy is linked to an increased risk of infection, cardiovascular disease and cancer, along with depression, anxiety and insomnia.
- Undermine our sense of confidence and happiness, because we conclude that we just don’t stack up. The underside of jealousy is that it undercuts our self confidence and even our identity.
- Isolate us from potential support, because we measure ourselves against other people. Envy can even cause damage to close relationships.
- Motivate consumerism and the never ending need to buy more stuff.
- Cause political battles with other companies, political parties, states or countries. It can twist our thinking so that we forget our successes and nurture a victim attitude.
- Fuel a delight in the misfortune of others, like celebrities and political leaders.
- Limit our insight and our honesty. Interestingly, envy comes from the Latin word that means “Non sight.” Envy can leave you blind.
It’s a lesson that is not lost on me and I will need to unpack it with my teenagers.
The movie redeemed it self about 3/4 of the way through. The scene is an exchange between the two men and Farrell tells his truth after Wahlburg’s character admits that he is about to leave because he cannot deal with the mess, the noise and the choices involved in parenting. Farrell says,
Dad’s take shit. It’s what we do. Dad’s have to make a lot of choices and we blow most of them.
Honestly, this was worth the five bucks we paid to rent at home. Dad’s suck it up. Dad’s keep our promises, even when we make numerous mistakes. Dad’s maintain a presence in their kids lives, even when… especially when their lives are messy.
It rings true. Life is like this. You and I take what we face and make the best of it. We make choices, blow it and work at ourselves, work to keep our promises and most of all to show up. In my opinion, this is a Good Man.
Join us at the Good Men Project. We are a tribe who wants to promote all that is good about men, and the good in men. We want to hear your response to Daddy’s Home, to other movies that showcase fatherhood and to your stories about manhood.
Photo by Paramount