In our discussion back in 2014 of Mom’s Night Out, Cane Caldo astutely commented:
Our movies really hate married fathers. “Taken” is acceptable as a movie premise because Liam Neeson’s father character is divorced. “Homeland” is also fine because Jason Statham’s character doesn’t have a wife in the way while he sexily protects his daughter.
I have found this observation to be spot on, which is why I was so surprised that Deepwater Horizon doesn’t follow Hollywood’s rule on married fathers. Mark Wahlberg’s character doesn’t go to his difficult and dangerous job knowing that he is failing as a husband and father. He isn’t shown missing his daughter’s recital or presentation. Nor do we learn that she resents him for being away from the family for long stretches of time due to his job. On the contrary, his daughter loves him and looks up to him, and is proud of what he does to support the family. Likewise, his wife is not unhappy, and does not provide the audience with a list of his shortcomings.
Secular movies are far better regarding married fathers than Christian movies are, but even for a secular movie this is vanishingly uncommon. It is refreshing to see a movie which so thoroughly bucks the trend here.