Even fictional families aren’t always perfect. In fact, it is often their imperfections that make them so entertaining to watch, and the hard times they must endure that makes the bond between them so comforting. Even though you probably love your own family dearly, there are times when a fictional family so captures your heart that you wish you could know what it is to be a part of that family, even for just one day.
Without further ado, here are 10 fictional families that we (sometimes) wish were ours!
The Perlmans (Call Me By Your Name – Rent or buy from $2.99 and up)
There are a lot of wonderful things about this sleepy, idyllic little film. Aside from Timothy Chalamet’s career-making performance, Elio’s parents, the Perlmans, are probably the most remarkable thing about Call Me By Your Name. The year is 1983 and the setting is northern Italy. Open-minded intellectuals, the Perlmans parent with a very light touch. The speech that Elio’s father gives to him near the end of the film is one of the most perfect cinematic monologues that I have ever seen. Their unfettered acceptance and natural bond with him is almost as intoxicating as the love story at the movie’s core.
The Taylors (Friday Night Lights – Amazon Prime/DirecTV Now/NBC)
Tammy and Eric Taylor are not only parents to Julie, but to virtually every (lucky) kid whose paths cross theirs throughout the duration of this show.
The Weasleys (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – HBO)
Sure, they’re loud and messy, (side-eyeing you, Percy) but the Weasleys are a tribe of their own – one filled with love, acceptance, laughter, discipline, and trust. The fact that there are so many of them is actually kind of a bonus because it’s a built-in support system (or co-conspirators, it largely depends on how you look at it).
The March Family (Little Women – Netflix)
We all know that Little Women is really a story about how Jo hooks up with some old professor instead of dynamic and handsome Laurie. (Don’t deny it!) But beyond Jo, Little Women is about the bond between sisters and their mother. I never had a sister, and growing up I often imagined I was lucky enough to have sisters like these. If only.
The Penderghaasts (Easy A – Rent or buy from $2.99 and up)
Patricia Clarkson and the always-wonderful Stanley Tucci play Olive Penderghaast’s fan-friggin’-tastic parents who are not only funny, but also accepting and kind. Olive and her adoptive brother are two lucky kids! If they weren’t fictional and I wasn’t an adult, I would definitely volunteer for adoption!
The Bennetts (Pride and Prejudice – Rent or buy from $2.99 and up)
Elizabeth Bennett does get her man in the end. A very, very rich man! But you and I know the truth: she was rich long before that. Rich in love and rich in family, with four lovely sisters and an adoring relationship with her father that any girl would envy, despite having to put up with Mrs. Bennett’s antics. (It comes from a place of love!)
The Gardners (The Big Sick – Amazon Prime)
The Big Sick is one of my favorite films from last year and a huge part of that is because of Emily’s parents, Terry and Beth, played by acting vets Ray Romano and Holly Hunter. While the two have been through a marital rough patch, they love each other and their daughter fiercely and come together in a time of crisis. After Beth and Terry’s actions at Kumail’s comedy show, it’s no wonder the guy knew he had to marry into the family immediately.
The Mars’ (Veronica Mars – Episodes from $1.99)
Lianne Mars did a disservice to Keith and Veronica when she walked out on them. But at the same time? She made them stronger together. Their banter is top notch, and even when they fight it’s kinda beautiful in a way. If you have never watched this show, you should know that the bond between the father and daughter detective duo is a major part of its appeal.
The MaGuffs (Juno – Rent or buy from $2.99 and up)
Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons? It’s like someone snuck into my brain while I was sleeping and cast my dream parents. And not only are they played by amazing actors, they pretty much knock this parenting (and step-parenting) thing out of the park. And they raised Juno who is a little bit weird and a whole lot quirky.
The Suarez’s (Ugly Betty – Hulu/ABC/Yahoo View)
Full disclosure? I almost left the Suarez family off this list by mistake. When I realized my blunder I knew I had to rectify it immediately. Betty, Ignacio, Hilda, and Justin make up what is probably my favorite TV family in all of history. And okay, I feel like the incomparable Marc and Amanda become extended members of this unit as the seasons progress. The Suarez family will back you up when you need it, make you over, stand by you while you are figuring out just exactly who you are, and ply you with a batch of mean empanadas while they’re at it. What more could a potential family member ask for?