Mr. Mom


The Cast

     JACK BUTLER . . . .                Michael Keaton

     CAROLINE BUTLER . . . .    Teri Garr

     RON RICHARDSON . . . .     Martin Mull


directed by John Hughes.  92 minutes.  1983.

"I yelled at Kenny for coloring outside the lines! Megan and I are starting to watch the same TV shows and I'm liking them! I'm losing it!" - Jack Butler

Jack Butler is an engineer at a large automobile corporation who gets 'downsized' in a period of rising inflation and unemployment.  In order to make ends meet, Jack's wife Caroline decides to get a job herself, leaving Jack to stay home and care for the kids. This leaves Jack at home doing the housework and taking care of the kids.

Moving from breadwinner to homemaker doesn't do much for Jack's self-esteem as he discovers being domestic is a lot more complicated than he ever imagined. 

He doesn't know where to pick up and drop off his kids at school. He's not really sure about cooking for his family. He starts projects around the house but never finishes. He's watches a lot of soap operas, gains a bit of a gut, and spends more and more of his time playing poker for supermarket coupons with a gaggle of neighborhood housewives. He's tempted to cheat on his wife with his neighbor, Joan.

And he's got this flannel shirt that he wears around the house constantly.

Meanwhile, Caroline's been hired as an advertising executive by a large firm run by the shifty Ron Richardson.  She's working on the advertising account for Schooner Tuna ("the tuna...with heart!") and constantly being hit on by her boss as her home life disintegrates under the stewardship of her seemingly incompetent husband.

Will she leave Jack for the smarmy boss and make partner? Will Jack succumb to the whims and charms of Joan?


Consulting your textbook, notes, and Professor Meltzer's article, discuss and give your opinion on the problems the Butler family faces as an individual example of the economic crisis in the United States in the 1970s. How do the examples in the film fit Milton Friedman's criticism of the long run effects of Keynesian policies? According to Friedman, can the problems shown be corrected?  If so, how? Use the correct economic vocabulary terms.

Write out your answers on the AP Macroeconomics Blackboard Discussion Board no later than midnight Sunday, March 11.

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