Parenthood

Question: Is the timeline in this movie supposed to be somewhat non-linear? For example - in the scene where Karen and Gill go to Kevin's school to talk to the principal and psychologist, it is specifically mentioned that the new school year is 4 months away meaning it is approximately April since kids typically began school in August. Later, when Larry comes to visit and is talking to the dad in the garage, he mentions the Super Bowl (which you reasonably would have assumed they just watched) but that takes place in January. Plus, Larry's mom tells them that Cool (Larry's son) has just finished eating lunch. How? If they just watched the Super Bowl, it would be dinner since the game is always played in the afternoon. And despite being in "St. Louis" (we know they actually filmed in Florida), it never seems to be winter. The end is really the most confusing with the birthing order. We learned earlier in a scene that Karen is pregnant and is due in February. At some point around this time, we find out that Julie is also pregnant. At this point, Julie's mom Helen has just gone on her first date with Mr. Bowen (Garry's biology teacher) but the end, Helen is having a baby, Julie and Tod's baby barely looks a month old and Karen's baby looks to be about 4 months old. Did Helen marry Mr. Bowen immediately and get pregnant right away?

Answer: The movie is being told in a linear timeline. You have just about all the information right! I think the one thing you are letting throw you off is your assessment of the Super Bowl. You are surmising that they had just watched the game that day, but my assessment is that they are talking about the game from months ago (bearing in mind that Larry has not been around for years and has not seen his father since the last Super Bowl). My belief is the movie takes place in May. That would add up with Kevin's next year of school being 4 months away as schools usually start in September, and the math also works out with Karen's February due date. This would also explain your concern about the weather. As for Helen's baby, it is not made clear whether or not she married Mr. Bowman, nor does it really matter for timeline purposes, but they consummated the relationship not long after the first date and she got pregnant.

jshy7979

Question: Since Helen is one of the 4 adult Buckman children, and had been previously married to Julie and Garry's dad, why is Julie's last name also Buckman? I could see Helen going back to her maiden name, that's not uncommon but it would be unusual to have a teenager (in the late 80's) who had her mother's name rather than her father's. Or was this a plot hole that was created so that they could create the conflict of the photographs scene?

Answer: If a child becomes estranged from their father after their parents have divorced, it's not all that uncommon for the child to take their mother's maiden surname instead of their father's.

raywest

Parenthood mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Nathan walks into the classroom singing, the center sliding glass door on the back bookcase is closed in the initial overhead long shot, but in the tracking shots that door has been pushed to the side, so as not to see the reflection of the camera/crew as Nathan walks up the aisle following the camera. (01:42:15)

Super Grover

More mistakes in Parenthood

Helen: It sounds like a boy Garry's age needs a man around the house.
Tod: Well, it depends on the man. I had a man around. He used to wake me up every morning by flicking lit cigarettes at my head. He'd say, "Hey, asshole, get up and make me breakfast." You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.

More quotes from Parenthood

Trivia: On the promotional movie poster, a frazzled Steve Martin is shown holding 2 children upside down by their ankles. On the set, sometimes the children would get unruly, so as a joke, Steve Martin once grabbed 2 of the unruly children and actually held them upside down by their ankles. Director Ron Howard saw this and decided it would make a funny promotional picture, so that's where he got the idea for it.

More trivia for Parenthood

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