A 1999 Adam Sandler film, truly captures an unconventional father-son bond when five-year-old Julian is abandoned in Sonny’s apartment. While Sonny is not Julian’s biological father, his rather bizarre and loving parenting skills have created an authentic kinship between the two.
Although Sonny’s initial motive is to impress his girlfriend, and he is generally described as a lazy, unmotivated person, he grows to love Julian.
Sonny allows Julian to live a life of pure freedom as he passes on his own unruly habits to the kid. From teaching young Julian some baseball to encouraging public urination, the two are instantly attached to each other as though they are family.
Sonny eventually deems it necessary to change Julian’s unacceptable behavior when Julian’s teacher, Ms. Foote, complains about the child’s smelliness and other questionable actions. Sonny also learns that his own father has very little faith in his parenting techniques and begins taking extreme measures to identify as a traditional father.
In an attempt to prove his father wrong and enforce good habits to a boy who his practically like a son, Sonny teaches young Julian to dress properly, eat better, and study harder. Julian’s random appearance into Sonny’s life not only transforms his unproductive ways, but reinforces his positive and responsible characteristics.
Real life, idealistic father-son relationships often encourage the passing down of respectable father characteristics to his son. While not all biological father-son relations consist of memorable baseball games and fishing on the weekends, this movie brings to light that a familial bond is formed through the power of friendship and appreciation.
Big Daddy portrays a unique father-son duo by highlighting various factors that come into play when disciplining a child, while simultaneously attempting to be a “cool” parent. Slowly but surely, Sonny learns a great deal about presenting himself as a respectable adult while teaching Julian the ways of life. Julian, on the other hand, experiences love and affection from the father figure that he was neglected of during the first few years of his life.
Although Sonny does not gain custody of Julian at the end of the movie, the essence of the father-son dynamic remains because of the unforgettable memories and love between the two. For this reason, Big Daddy is number one in our series of father son movies.