Pop Culture is a recurring column providing various takes on being a Modern Dad inspired by pop culture references: movies, books, comics, TV shows etc.
Yet another admirable widowed father is Caractacus Potts, an impoverished inventor, in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We are introduced to him via his semi-wild children after they discover an old car that they want to save from the junk yard. They are spied by a beautiful young confectionery heiress named Truly Scrumptious. (The original book was written by Ian Fleming of James Bond fame.) She brings these truants home where, despite an obvious mutual attraction, the adults have a falling out over her claims that the children should be in school rather than left to run amok.
How can I claim this guy is someone we should look to as a guide to being a good dad?
After many musical and comical adventures involving the now-flying car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Truly realizes that Caractacus is doing a good though unconventional job of raising his kids: they are happy and full of curiosity, adventure and imagination. He loves them, feeds them (though through wild devices such as an elaborate bacon and egg machine) and provides them with a fantastic example of someone who follows his own path ultimately to love and fortune. Also, he invents flying cars and takes on tyrants in order to save his kids. All the while performing prat falls and singing nonsense songs. Pretty cool.
And as a result he gets to fly off with a young candy heiress named Truly Scrumptious in the end.
A version of this column appears in this month's Village Living Magazine: