is a 1983 American comedy-drama film directed by Stan Dragoti and written by John Hughes about a stay-at-home dad. The film stars Michael Keaton
, Teri Garr, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, and Martin Mull.
In the film, Jack Butler (played by Michael Keaton) loses his job as an engineer at the Ford Motor Company, which gives his wife Caroline (played by Teri Garr) the opportunity to work as part of an advertising firm. Jack gets used to his new role as a stay-at-home dad taking care of his three children Alex, Kenny, and Megan while Caroline deals with her new boss Ron Richardson (played by Martin Mull).
This film provides examples of:
- A Day in Her Apron
- All Just a Dream: The Soap Within a Show part.
- Beard of Sorrow: Jack grows one when he realizes he's going to be stuck watching over the kids and the house for a while as his wife goes off to work. He shaves it after he has his Soap Within a Show dream.
- The Big Race: Ron Richardson hosts a race with himself and his employees as the contestants at his corporate picnics, though Ron always comes out the winner. Jack is challenged to participate in the race, which plays out to the tune of the Chariots of Fire theme song.
- Bumbling Dad: Really a subversion. Once Jack stops feeling sorry for himself about being unemployed and his wife being the breadwinner, he gets it together and gets quite good in the role.
- Chainsaw Good: Jack's first meeting with Ron is when he is wielding a chainsaw and coming into the house with it still running. Played mostly for laughs as Jack makes it look like he's just using it for remodeling the house, though after Ron leaves Jack contemplates using it for "trimming" Ron's mustache.
- Chippendales Dancers: Where Jack is taken to with his housewife neighbors.
- The Diaper Change: Jack has his hands full changing Megan's diapers after she eats a can of chili, and Alex and Kenny offer no help.
- Homicide Machines: Meet "Jaws" the vacuum cleaner. Played mostly for laughs as Jack struggles to gain control of it after it starts chasing around Kenny.
- House Husband: Jack Butler starts out as a Fish out of Water, but ends up this at the end of the movie.
- Male Gaze: Jack gets a look down Joan's shirt when she leans in toward him to show him her hand during a card game.
- Men Can't Keep House: The major theme of the movie, which Jack ends up proving wrong.
- Not What It Looks Like: Jack assuming that Caroline is having an affair with her boss Ron, when he attempts to make a family phone call to Caroline and instead Ron ends up picking up the phone while she is in the bathtub relaxing. In actuality, Ron was attempting to hit on Caroline and force her to have sex with him so she could dump Jack and marry him. Jack finds this out after Caroline comes home and prevents him from having an affair with their neighbor Joan, and when Ron shows up at his door with flowers for Caroline, begging for her to return to work.
- Papa Wolf: Jack. Nobody yells at his children and gets away with it. Nobody!
- And this is played by the same guy who would go on to play Batman.
- Parodies of Fire: During the company picnic which includes a short footrace with everyone wearing diving flippers. True to form, the entire race is shown in slow-motion.
- Security Blanket: Jack's child Kenny carries around a security blanket, which after a heartfelt talk with his dad he ends up discarding.
- Sexual Extortion: Ron Richardson tries to force Caroline to have sex with him so she could dump Jack and marry him to expand his advertising firm, but Caroline refuses to go along with it, punching Ron in the face and hopping on the next flight back home. Ron shows up at the Butlers' house with flowers to apologize and beg for Caroline to return to work, but Caroline says that she doesn't want to go back to work for him, and Ron is now fearful of her husband.
- Soap Within a Show: Stay-at-home dad Jack becomes so addicted to soap operas that he starts dreaming of having an affair with his neighbor Joan, with the situation of him, Joan, and his wife Caroline played out like a soap opera. This leads to a situation where Jack almost actually has an affair with Joan around the same time that he assumes that Caroline is having one with Ron (which ends up not being the case) until Caroline comes home and gets Joan out of their bedroom before anything happens.
- Swapped Roles: Jack and Caroline, right after Jack loses his job.
- Training Montage: an Homage Montage aimed no doubt at Rocky has Jack Butler and his housewife neighbors losing weight and fixing up his house to this same tune.
- Vicious Vac: "Jaws". Almost devours the woobie!