The 5 Best Movie Parents and Why We Love Them

Mothers and fathers rarely stand out as favorites in Hollywood, but these parental figures are some of our favorite characters ever.
The 5 Best Movie Parents and Why We Love Them

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In real life, our parents are far from perfect. They're flawed just like everyone else, and they make plenty of mistakes when it comes to raising their children. They may get in the way, lead us astray, or keep us at bay.

But when it comes to Hollywood depictions of parental figures, they're often pushed to the extremes—so perfect as to be implausible, so terrible as to be unbelievable, or just exaggerated vessels for tropes and cliches.

However, every once in a while, Hollywood gives us truly excellent parental figures who are imperfect yet lovable all the same. Here are our favorite movie parents who are quirky, loving, and relatable.

5. Edna and Wilbur Turnblad (Hairspray)

Edna Turnblad (John Travolta) and Wilbur Turnblad (Christopher Walken) were high school sweethearts. Now, in the year 1962, they live in Baltimore with their teenage daughter, Tracy.

Wilbur has a toy shop and Edna is a laundress. He's as skinny as a toothpick and lives in his own world while she's overweight and agoraphobic. At first glance, they don't appear to be the happiest of couples.

But look closer!

Behind his perpetually disoriented expression, Wilbur hides passionate ways, a kind heart, and a great sense of justice. He's not afraid to sing and dance in front of Edna, to show her that she's still "timeless to him" despite the years that have gone by. He truly loves her, exactly as she is, and that's not something that should be taken for granted.

On the other hand, Edna lost faith in their marriage and in her body, but still manages to get back on track by the end. She regains her confidence (to the point where she's able to strip and dance in front of poor Wilbur) and she finally finds the courage to stand by her family when they need her most.

Edna and Wilbur are a fantastic movie couple because of their authenticity. They teach us that the right person will love you for all you are, and their love for you will not fade with time.

4. Morticia and Gomez Addams (The Addams Family)

There have been many renditions of The Addams Family, and Morticia and Gomez have basked in absolute marital bliss across each one. They've been head-over-heels for each other since they debuted in 1938—as comic characters!—and they exemplify the neverending love story.

While Morticia and Gomez have been portrayed by many actors, my personal favorite duo is Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia. Their chemistry and performances enhanced the bond between these two characters and made it all the more enjoyable.

"Don't torture yourself, Gomez... That's my job," Morticia whispers while cutting roses from their stems. The two are quirky, lacey, gothic, extravagant, and a little nuts, but they live in a universe where that's very much okay—so why not suspend disbelief and let them win our hearts?

Gomez and Morticia find each other irresistible, and they keep the passion alive by constantly roleplaying in oddly seductive scenarios. They trust each other unconditionally, making the Addams a truly strong unit.

3. Bren and Mac MacGuff (Juno)

Mac MacGuff (J. K. Simmons) and Bren MacGuff (Allison Janney) are, without a doubt, the most realistic couple featured on our list.

Bren owns a nail salon while Mac was "born to work with heating and air conditioning." They live together in Minnesota and have two daughters in Juno and Liberty Bell.

We don't get to see them together as much as we would like to over the course of Juno, but their individual relationships with Juno serve as proof of their qualities—as a couple, as parents, and as people.

They're both down-to-earth, kind, and reliable individuals. They want the best for their family, and they know that life isn't always easy.

Bren (who is actually a step-mom to Juno) always stands by her side, makes sure she has everything she needs, and isn't afraid to speak up. While her ways might feel direct, they're the ways of a loving mother.

Mac doesn't speak much throughout the film, but when he does, he smacks us with one of the most accurate lines about love in contemporary cinema: "The right person will still think that the sun shines out your ass." (Spoken while he's fixing some sort of machinery on the dinner table, no less.)

Juno is revolutionary for many reasons, and its portrayal of this parental couple is one of those reasons. A loving, self-confident, caring step-mother? A father who's open to talk about feelings? A rare sight back in 2004.

2. Evelyn and Waymond Wang (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond Wang (Ken Huy Quan) own a laundromat together. But they aren't happy together.

She's always too busy and she often speaks coldly. He's sweet, he's gentle, and he loves her to bits, but he asks for a divorce—not because he wants a divorce, but because he wants her to listen to him for once.

While they've been together for a long time, we can immediately see why there's friction between the two: Waymond is an eternal optimist (who puts googly eyes on everything around him) while Evelyn feels like the world is on her shoulders and can't help but focus on the bad side of things.

To put it plainly, Evelyn thinks Waymond is immature, silly, and someone she can't rely on. Of course, she's wrong in a million ways.

Waymond's antics are actually his way of surviving in an otherwise cold and unfriendly environment. "When I choose to see the good side of things, I'm not being naive. It is strategic and necessary," he tells Evelyn. "It's how I've learned to survive through everything."

Cinema often depicts a kind of masculinity that solves problems through practical skills and physical strength, but Waymond is wise and knows that kindness and optimism can make all the difference.

Evelyn is a strong, independent, and competent damsel who happens to be in distress because of her own negative mindset, and the only way her Prince Charming can save her is through his gentle means, his homemade cookies, and his fanny pack.

1. Rosala and Bernie Focker (Meet the Fockers)

Rosala Focker (Barbra Streisand) is a doctor who specializes in elderly sexuality. Bernie Focker (Dustin Hoffman) is a stay-at-home dad who gave up his career as a lawyer to spend time with their son, Gaylord (who prefers to be called Greg).

They are Jewish, they live near Pasadena in an eccentric house named "Focker Island," and they're one of the best portrayals of a loving, healthy, unconventional couple in cinema.

Don't get me wrong: there are plenty of flaws across the Meet the Parents saga. However, the characters of Rosala and Bernie make the films bearable, even enjoyable. They're never depicted as a perfect couple, but their portrayal is, nonetheless, absolutely uplifting.

She has a hint of shamanic charm while he's an eternal child. They flirt and stand by each other's sides. They laugh at each other's flaws, they care for their home, they're accomplished, they're creative, and they always strive to improve themselves.

Always attracted to each other like newlyweds, they exude the comfort and friendliness of a successful, long-lasting marriage. Who wouldn't want to see their own parents like this?