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When men decide to improve themselves, they don't mess around. Faced with middle age and/or new fatherhood, more men are now trying to come to terms with fathers whose behavior left them emotionally hamstrung. The authors of a new bucket of self-help books for men get right to the point. Stop whining, they say. Get on with it. No. 1: Confront the past. Make a list.
May 2, 2011 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Cary Grant wanted a life away from the silver screen in 1966 after three decades of superstardom in such classics as "North by Northwest," "Gunga Din," "The Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby. " So Grant, then 62, gave up his career for what he felt would be the greatest role of his life: doting father. "He retired to be with me," said his daughter, Jennifer Grant. "That is hard to believe in and of itself. He put all of his focus, really, on me. Most people don't have the luxury to retire; most people don't want until their 60s to have a child.' The tall, whippet-slim Grant, now 45, looks a lot like her mother, Oscar-nominated actress Dyan Cannon, but possesses her father's dark hair and dancing eyes.
Looking for the perfect Father's Day gift? Try immortalizing the old man in verse or song. You'll join some elite company. What follows is an off-the-top-of-my-head selection of pop, rock and country songs about fatherhood that pass the no-schmaltz, all-honesty test--many to a painful degree. Let's start with songs that immortalize the old man after the old man has proven mortal.
February 14, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The average man produces hundreds of billions of sperm cells in his lifetime. Only a minuscule fraction of those little guys ever manage to swim far enough and fast enough to fertilize an egg. Successful sperm must be strong. It stands to reason then that they also must be well-nourished. Several nutritional supplements purport to help men take a big step closer to fatherhood. FertilAid for Men, manufactured by Fairhaven Health, contains megadoses of antioxidant vitamins and B vitamins.
November 21, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Vince Vaughn and his new movie, "Delivery Man," have me rethinking my vow to avoid using the description "feel-good" before the word "movie" at all costs. This is Vaughn at his most vulnerable. As much as the wisecracking actor at a different point in his career might have bristled at the description, "Delivery Man," a heart-tugging new comedy about fatherhood and family, is warm as well as wry. Yes, this is a slight film. But there's a very likable ensemble around Vaughn, led by "Parks and Recreation's" Chris Pratt as his best friend, Brett, along with wonderful Polish actor Andrzej Blumenfeld as his father, Mikolaj.
September 18, 2011 | By Lynn Smith, Los Angeles Times
Technically, the plaques and trophies in Marv Marinovich's office belong to his son Todd, a rising star quarterback at USC. But they are a shrine to the father as well. After all, it was Marv who knew which vitamin supplements he and his wife should take to conceive a perfectly healthy child. It was Marv who applied Eastern Bloc training techniques, insisting that Todd discipline his mind and body and forgo Big Macs, sugar and hanging out at the beach. It was Marv who caught flak from in-laws critical of punishments such as forcing the 9-year-old Todd to run alongside the car from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach after the boy had not played his best in a basketball game.
In the reshuffling of the cultural deck since the 1960s, the forgotten card appears to be the father. "The Vanishing Father," on PBS' "Frontline" tonight, only begins to explore the vast issue of what fatherhood in America really means, but it is at least interested in searching for that forgotten card.
July 18, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Brad Pitt says being a father has changed his priorities. "Man, I got kids now," the 42-year-old actor said in an interview that aired Monday on NBC's "Today" show. "It completely changes your perspective. And certainly takes the focus off yourself, which I'm really grateful for." Pitt is working with Global Green USA, a national environmental organization, on a competition to choose ecologically sound designs for rebuilding neighborhoods in post-Katrina New Orleans.
This year, Christmas shopping takes on new meaning for Jamar Cramer, L.C. Johnson and Eric Fuller. Dolls and rattles will accompany sweat suits and gym shoes on the holiday shopping lists of these three L.A. Trade Tech basketball players. In addition to being teammates, Cramer, Johnson and Fuller share another bond: fatherhood. While there are fathers on some community college basketball teams, the 10-4 Trade Tech team (as of Friday) is the home of three.
April 11, 2000
Time was when maternity business suits were a huge deal for expectant mothers, a major advance over the baby-doll frocks that most pregnant women were stuck with and acknowledgment that women could be both professionals and pregnant. Now, years after the big breakthroughs--guaranteed maternity leave, pregnant Demi Moore's nude magazine cover, and baby strollers with built-in cup holders, wouldn't you know that the guys want in on the deal.
September 24, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Prince of Broadway" thinks outside the box. It's an undeniably small yet almost indefinable film, warmhearted and bittersweet, laced with both humor and tough emotions. Plus it has a kind of bicoastal appeal. Though it won the grand jury prize at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival and was a nominee for the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards' John Cassavetes nod, "Prince" owes a lot of its allure to its very New York situation and state of mind. As directed by Sean Baker, "Prince" greatly benefits from its gritty cinéma-vérité setting on the edges of Manhattan's wholesale fashion district, a place where street-level clothing hustlers try to make a few dollars on the far side of the law. "Prince's" script is credited to Baker and Darren Dean, but an on-screen message tells us that the dialogue "was realized through improvisation and a collaborative process with all actors.
June 22, 2010 | By Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington Bureau
President Obama on Monday pledged a series of new initiatives to support responsible fatherhood, but called on fathers to recognize that government cannot do what they can best do in the home. In his annual Father's Day event, Obama urged fathers to mentor their children and to reach out to those in the community who don't have strong parental or guardian support. "I can't legislate fatherhood. I can't force anybody to love a child," Obama told a crowd gathered at a community center in southeast Washington.
May 30, 2010 | By Jon Caramanica, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"Dad Camp" opens with a dash of bad faith. On the new VH1 series, six expecting couples participate in a month-long therapy program in which the men are psychologically and emotionally retrained in hopes of becoming better fathers. Upon arriving at the group house, having just been shown birthing videos, the men are offered a night out on the town, while their partners stay at home and swap stories over salad and play with a fetal doppler. It's a blatant set-up. Like clockwork, the men misbehave — drinking heavily, flirting, and in one case, kissing a woman — all while the cameras roll.
December 5, 2009 | By Glenn Whipp
In "Everybody's Fine," Robert De Niro plays a role that he has spent most of his adult life researching out of the public eye -- an imperfect father learning along the way. Known for his meticulous preparation, De Niro didn't have to step far out of his own shoes to connect with the film's Frank Goode, a demanding dad who, now in his 60s, wants nothing more than to gather his four adult children around the same table. "Bob's at that age where a lot of guys look back and think, 'Wow, that went quick . . . maybe I should have spent more time with the kids,' " says "Everybody's Fine" writer-director Kirk Jones.
June 20, 2009 | Mike Dorning
President Obama, who barely knew his own father, devoted his afternoon Friday to promoting the importance of being a good dad, saying he wanted to start a "national conversation" on the subject. Two days before Father's Day, Obama attended events related to fatherhood -- gathering famous and not-so-famous dads for a series of service projects around Washington and a White House town hall meeting, then addressing young men on the South Lawn.
May 17, 2009 | Christopher Noxon, Noxon is the father of three and the author of "Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-Up."
Home Game An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood Michael Lewis W.W. Norton: 188 pp., $23.95 -- Pity the poor modern dad. Or at least Michael Lewis, bestselling author and father of three whose cranky and mostly clumsy attempts to live up to the current ideal of fatherhood are breezily and brutally described in the new memoir "Home Game."
August 8, 1997 | PATT MORRISON
Here it is August, practically Labor Day, and who would believe that a Los Angeles courtroom would be puzzling over whether this is Father's Day or payday? The probate trial in Department 18 concerns the estate of Tupac Amaru Shakur, deceased. When he was killed in Las Vegas last year he was 25 years old, and almost as rich as he was famous.
September 10, 2001
Well, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has blazed new legal trails again. It has just ruled that male prison inmates have an inalienable right to create babies via overnight air freight and artificial insemination. In a 2-1 ruling that creates new law for California and eight other Western states, the judges held that a prisoner's right to marriage survives incarceration and, therefore, absent genuine security concerns, so does the fundamental right to procreate.
January 1, 2009 | Tom Roston
On a recent chilly morning, Liev Schreiber was eating breakfast in a downtown Manhattan restaurant while a swarm of shutterbugs hovered outside on the corner near his apartment. However, Schreiber wasn't exactly the one whom the photographers were after. "It's her," he said, with a weary grin. He's referring to his partner, Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts, with whom he has one son, and at this point, another on the way (Watts gave birth to their second son two weeks after this interview).
June 8, 2008 | Patrick Pacheco, Special to The Times
New York In 2005 at the Sundance Theatre Lab, Daniel Breaker was perfunctorily reading a play in which he thought he was being offered a minor role, a character simply called Youth. But 20 pages into the quirky musical "Passing Strange," the actor was struck by a phrase that rocked him: "Franklin's words washed over him like a Bach fugue creeping out of a cheap car stereo. . . .
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