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Why I'm not repelled by the idea of a 'Mr. Mom' remake

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Image Credit: Everett CollectionNormally, I’m morally opposed to any remake of a 1980s film, even ones based on forgettable originals. First off, those are my movies. I grew up with them. Secondly, the fact that they’re being considered for remakes can only mean that a significant amount of time has passed — a fact that  I don’t need to be reminded of. But I have to admit that I wasn’t offended by the news that MGM has discussed dusting off Mr. Mom, the Reagan-era comedy written by John Hughes. Michael Keaton’s auto exec, who’s forced to become the clueless caregiver for his three kids after he’s fired by his Detroit company, reflected the economic downtown that wounded and frightened American families during the early ’80s.

You may have noticed that the past few years haven’t been kind to Detroit and the automotive industry, and there isn’t a segment of the economy that hasn’t felt the crunch. So at least a Mr. Mom remake would have some relevance. (As opposed to, say, Red Dawn and Clash of the Titans.) That said, a stay-at-home dad wouldn’t be as unusual in 2011 as it was 30 years ago, so the new film will have to find new ways to mine comic tension. Still, I can easily imagine a Mark Ruffalo or a Vince Vaughn at home, wrestling with the vacuum, while an overwhelmed Elizabeth Banks or Julie Bowen fends off an amorous boss at her new corporate job.

Does a remake of Mr. Mom strike you as the half-decent idea in the stack of bad ideas? Who would you cast in the leading roles?