- 1 hr 33 min
Paternity is a 1981 comedy-drama film starring Burt Reynolds, Beverly D'Angelo, and Norman Fell. It was directed by David Steinberg and written by Rick Podell and Michael Preminger. The film follows the story of Buddy Evans (Burt Reynolds), a single man who wants to become a father. However, he doesn't want to marry and settle down in order to achieve this. Instead, he decides to impregnate a woman and then raise the child on his own.
Buddy sets his sights on Maggie (Beverly D'Angelo), a divorced mother who already has a young son, Alex (Rossie Harris). Maggie is a free-spirited artist, who works in a coffee shop during the day to support herself and her son. She is initially hesitant to go along with Buddy's plan, but eventually agrees to have a child with him, believing that he will be a good father.
As the pregnancy progresses, Buddy becomes more involved in Maggie's life, helping her with household chores and taking care of Alex. He also becomes a regular customer at the coffee shop where Maggie works, much to the annoyance of her co-worker, Flo (Marilu Henner). Despite some initial conflicts with Maggie's ex-husband and her conservative father, Buddy begins to form a bond with Alex and grows more attached to the idea of becoming a father.
However, as the due date approaches, Buddy begins to have second thoughts about his decision. He starts to realize the enormity of the responsibility he has taken on and worries that he may not be able to handle it alone. Meanwhile, Maggie begins to develop feelings for Buddy, but he remains committed to his plan of raising the child alone.
The film's climax sees Maggie going into labor, with Buddy by her side. As they await the birth of their child, both characters are forced to confront their feelings about parenthood, love, and commitment. In the end, they both make important decisions about their respective futures, leading to a heartwarming conclusion.
Paternity is a charming, if somewhat formulaic, comedy-drama that explores themes of parenthood, love, and family in a lighthearted and engaging manner. The performances of Reynolds, D'Angelo, and Harris are all strong, with the chemistry between Reynolds and D'Angelo being a particular highlight. The film's script, while somewhat predictable at times, features some genuinely funny moments, as well as some poignant ones.
Overall, Paternity is an enjoyable and heartwarming film that is likely to appeal to fans of Burt Reynolds and 80s comedies in general. Its themes of love, family, and sacrifice are timeless and universal, making it a film that remains relevant and relatable even today. While it may not be the most groundbreaking or thought-provoking film of its time, it certainly has its charms and is well worth a watch.
Paternity is a 1981 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.9 and a MetaScore of 45.