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Movie Night: Well-Meaning Dads

This week I posted my Top 10 Movie Dads — many of whom are notable for their sweetness or bravery or patience. Now for this week's Movie Night, I'm suggesting three movies in which the dads love their kids and are well-intentioned, but don't always quite cut it.

Say Anything
Before he was the grouchy cane-wielding dad on "Frasier," John Mahoney was Diane's (Ione Skye) crook dad, James, in Say Anything. He and Diane have a very special relationship, in fact, they're kind of each other's whole world. It would be intensely creepy if it weren't so cute. And, of course, we love James just as much as Diane does — up until his true actions are discovered and Diane (along with the audience) feels betrayed and disappointed. Still, even at the very end when James has hurt his daughter enormously, you can still see that he loves her more than anything. He just got a little lost.

Two more if you

Little Miss Sunshine
Richard (Greg Kinnear) thinks he's being a supportive father to little bespectacled Olive, giving her advice on weight management, etc. Instead, however, he's confusing her and he's on his way to damaging her self-image. He's also mildly delusional and rather insensitive toward his suicidal brother-in-law Frank (Steve Carell). In the end, of course, Richard redeems himself, and his actions finally coincide with his good intentions.

Pretty in Pink
There's a lot of love between Andie (Molly Ringwald) and her dad Jack (Harry Dean Stanton), to the point where it's a little shady. Unemployed and mostly unwashed for much of the film, Jack is like the child in his relationship with his daughter. He loves her — she seems to be all he's got — but he just can't seem to get out of bed to get a job... or to shave, for that matter. And Andie clearly loves him, too, despite his lazy, sleepy ways.

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