MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
It is Father's Day. You didn't think we forgot, did you? No, of course not. We got your card a long time ago. And after you fired up the grill or whatever it is you do to celebrate, we've got some ideas about how to keep it going with a movie. And for suggestions, we called up our old friend, writer and critic Jimi Izrael, to give us some suggestions for your Father's Day film festival.
Jimi, welcome back.
JIMI IZRAEL: Hey, Michel. Thanks for having me.
MARTIN: So what would you consider a Father's Day film, anyway? Is it something where a dad does something awesome? Or what makes a good Father's Day film?
IZRAEL: No, no. As a matter - it's not quite that complicated, you know? It's a film where everything in the film is not the father's fault. You know what I mean?
IZRAEL: Because it seems like everything in life and everything in cinema is the dad's fault. So it is that single film where the father, if he's not redeemed, he is at least put out of his misery.
MARTIN: (Laughter) OK...
IZRAEL: Take that, Oedipus.
MARTIN: OK. That makes perfectly - well, with that being said, what's your first recommendation for Father's Day viewing?
IZRAEL: Yeah. Really, I'm really feeling John Krasinski, formerly of "The Office" and a few other things in between. But he directed and co-wrote "A Quiet Place." And he plays Lee Abbot, and he has these really hard choices, and he has to have all the easy answers. And anybody that's a father will tell you they know there's never any easy answers, and he had to deal with all the consequences. So that right now is just my favorite film because that's what fatherhood is really about. It's about not saying a lot and just taking all the blame. You know...
MARTIN: (Laughter) Oh, man.
IZRAEL: That's it.
MARTIN: Yeah - not exactly a laugh riot, but OK - Interesting choice.
IZRAEL: Not exactly (laughter).
IZRAEL: Not exactly, no.
MARTIN: Any classics from people that they - maybe people already have in their VHS drawer if, they can figure out where their VHS player is? Any classics you want to pull out?
IZRAEL: Of course, people already have Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone from "The Godfather." Everybody owns that.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE GODFATHER")
MARLON BRANDO: (As Don Vito Corleone) I never wanted this for you. I worked my whole life, I don't apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool, dancing on a string held by all those big-shots. I don't apologize. That's my life. But I thought that, when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings.
IZRAEL: Vito Corleone is the guy, not unlike me, who would do anything for his friend. I'm not whacking anybody. You know (laughter), but - I mean, I whacked the weeds...
IZRAEL: But you're really about your legacy, and you want your kids to appreciate it. As it happens, his kids do appreciate it. So "Godfather" is a classic, I feel, that works for Father's Day.
MARTIN: And it also has father in the title, so there - that works. OK. Well...
IZRAEL: Hey. It's an offer you can't refuse.
MARTIN: So we've already - we're in kind of adult territory here. But what about people with, say, the littler people in the house. Can you think of something that might be fun to watch with littler people?
IZRAEL: So I like "Daddy Day Care." Eddie Murphy has done - he has done an uneven job with his films, like, the last 20 years. But "Daddy Day Care" really in my mind stands out because it captures the comedy, horror and the drama of having to watch small children for any length of time.
IZRAEL: So yeah, that's why life can be - that's - yeah.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DADDY DAY CARE")
JEFF GARLIN: (As Phil) Maybe I haven't had my coffee yet, but it seems like these kids are multiplying. What's going on?
EDDIE MURPHY: (As Charlie Hinton) Yeah, we got two new kids.
GARLIN: (As Phil) Oh, come on.
MURPHY: (As Charlie Hinton) Hey, listen. We're going to have to up our game today, all right? We need some structure and some planned activities.
GARLIN: (As Phil) No. We need Ritalin and leashes - that's what we need.
MARTIN: Another one - like "The Godfather," it's got daddy in the title. So, you know...
IZRAEL: There you go.
MARTIN: ...Win-Win, win-win. OK. And...
MARTIN: What about for people who like animation? What about people who like animated films? You got anything there?
IZRAEL: Yeah. So there's "Finding Nemo" with Albert Brooks as Marlin as the helicopter dad, which I can kind of relate to because people would argue - certainly, my kids would tell you that I'm a little bit overprotective.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FINDING NEMO")
ALBERT BROOKS: (As Marlin) Are you sure you want to go to school this year? Because there's no problem if you don't. You can wait five or six years.
ALEXANDER GOULD: (As Nemo) Come on, dad. It's time for school.
BROOKS: (As Marlin) Forgot to brush. Do you want this anemone to sting you?
GOULD: (As Nemo) Yes.
BROOKS: (As Marlin) Brush.
GOULD: (As Nemo) OK, I'm done.
BROOKS: (As Marlin) You missed a spot.
GOULD: (As Nemo) Where?
BROOKS: (As Marlin) There.
BROOKS: (As Marlin) And right there, and here.
GOULD: (As Nemo, laughing).
IZRAEL: And as the helicopter dad, he wants to kind of protect and keep his son in one place. But then his son kind of goes off and ventures into the world, and then he has to travel - he has to dodge all these obstacles to try to find him and make his son safe again. So I can definitely relate to that film, and that's an important film for you to see on Father's Day.
MARTIN: Well, what are you going to do on Father's Day?
IZRAEL: You know what? I am going to have a glass of whiskey and a big piece of chicken and be king for a day.
MARTIN: OK (laughter). That is the writer and culture critic Jimi Izrael with his picks for a Father's Day film festival. He also hosts the podcast "Conversation For Adults."
Jimi Izrael, thanks so much for talking to us.
IZRAEL: Thank you, Michel.
MARTIN: And later in the program, we'll have your tweets about what you really want as dads for Father's Day. We got this one from @HeyJoseph - doughnuts in between naps - simple man, simple pleasure. We will have more later this hour. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.