As these movies suggest, fatherhood isn't easy, and it certainly isn't cheap. To be a good dad requires dedication, hard work and, yes, sacrifice.
There were perks to being a dad back in the day. My grandpa (who I’m told was a dad once, too) had his special easy chair that no one else sat in. He could pick the best piece of fried chicken. He drove my grandma everywhere she went — and in those days before I could drive, that seemed as big a perk as I could imagine.
What I didn’t understand back then was how hard he worked and how much he sacrificed for his family — the long hours, the anxious nights, the stresses that come with being a dad. I’m sure he would have sold even his easy chair if it could have helped one of his daughters.
Most dads sacrifice a great deal for the people they love. What that sacrifice looks like, and how much it hurts, varies from family to family. Even in our entertainment, we occasionally see that sacrifice run the gamut, too.
Streaming services are offering a handful of movies that provide a glimpse of some fathers who give a lot (and maybe one or two who just think they do) to their families. A couple are new online. Most are free (if you subscribe to a given service). All come with a caveat or two. But they do eloquently speak about what it means, and what you give, to be a father.
Cinderella Man (2005, PG-13)
New to Hulu this month, this Oscar-nominated film takes viewers into the teeth of the Great Depression. Everyone’s hurting, but James Braddock (Russell Crowe) and his family hurt worse than most. The former boxer broke his hand in the ring, apparently ending his career. His injured hand makes it difficult to work as a longshoreman, too, but he doesn’t have a choice. As the family slips deeper into debt and he refuses to let his three children be taken in by wealthier relatives, Braddock gets another break — this one a lucky one. Due to a last-minute cancellation, Braddock’s old manager is in need of a quick, one-night replacement. He asks Braddock if he’s interested. And when Braddock says yes — despite the threat of further injury — he begins one of the most inspirational stories in sports history. If you don’t have Hulu, have no fear: This gritty-but-inspirational film (based on a remarkable true story) is available to rent elsewhere beginning at $2.99.
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