But that sort of father-daughter dynamic isn’t unusual in today’s movie scene. In fact, Scott has some pretty good company.
But here’s the thing: As messed up as Will is, he’s a different person when he’s dealing directly with his daughter. He’s authoritative and loving — a smart, smiling role model. He’s the guy who knows how to collect rainwater off a tarp, how to cook wild mushrooms on reflective fabric, how to walk through the woods without making a sound. He tutors Tom in more traditional education, too — so much so that when she’s dragged into civilization and tested, counselors finds that she’s well past her grade level. And even when Tom comes to understand that her dad’s not at all well, she still does more than love him. She
“Where’s your home?” Someone asks Tom one day.
“My dad,” Tom says. And it’s true.
What would Will have been like without Tom to care for and teach? Could he be dead? Crazy? Like Scott, Will’s a better person because of his daughter. With her, he became the hero she thought he was.
, newly out on Blu-Ray and DVD, the Abbots live much as Will and Tom do, but not by choice. Their world is one filled with literal monsters that hunt by sound, which forces them to do without much of the technology and noise we take for granted. But Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) is not exactly idolized by his hearing-impaired daughter, Regan. Indeed, Regan believes that, because of an earlier family tragedy she unintentionally set in motion, her dad doesn’t even A Quiet Place like her very much.
But she comes to realize that that’s not true. For years, he’s tried to craft the perfect aid to help Regan hear again: She sees the evidence of his labors strewn across his workshop — failure after failure, new attempt after new attempt. He never gave up hope. And he never lost his affection for her, either.
“I love you,” he signs to her at a crucial moment. “I’ve
always loved you.” And then, in the movie’s most poignant turn, she shows her just how much. He shows himself to be a hero, too.
These movies hit home with me as a dad with a daughter. I’ve written before about how my daughter and I
run marathons together, and even when we’re not training we see each other about every week. I’m certainly a healthier person because of my her After all, if it wasn’t for my daughter I’d probably spend my weekends eating cheese-flavored popcorn. But I think I’m a better person, too. Why? Because my daughter’s awesome. And she deserves the best dad I know how to be.
Most of us do our best to be the dads our children see in us — to be a little smarter, a little stronger, a little funnier, a little wiser. And even though their admiration of us will eventually (and invariably) be salted with an understanding of our weaknesses, hopefully a little of that admiration will linger. Maybe longer than we will.
Read more: 10 Fathers whose parenthood helped them become saints