Today: April 15, 2024

The Nice Guys School Of Parenting

Ahh kids. Tiny people with demands greater than Mariah Carey’s dressing room rider. Who’d have ‘em, eh? In the case of Ryan Gosling’s character in The Nice Guys, Holland March, parenting can be more stressful for some than others. Especially when you’re a private detective of questionable merit, and your precocious daughter (Holly March, played by Angourie Rice) is a 13-going-on-30 mini adult who is arguably more sensible than her dad… 

To celebrate the release of The Nice Guys, on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms from 26th September 2016, we have assembled a ‘how to’ guide to parenting – Holland March style…

Note: We do not advise or condone any of the following parenting methods! Article  contains spoilers.

Travelling Etiquette
Children should be strapped in safely to their seats, right? Wrong. According to The Nice Guys, the only way to travel by car is in the boot… When Holly’s told she’s not allowed to accompany her Dad on a mission, she hides away in his car boot, taking a bumpy ride into the LA hills horizontally. It’s only a matter of time before car manufacturers take note of this new way of travelling one’s offspring.

Social Occasions
How better to socialise your child than to bring them along to an adult party, complete with naked pool dwellers, porn TV rooms, and booze flowing faster than Niagara Falls? Having snuck along, Holland decides that Holly is safer to stay with him at the party than on her own. Until he gets drunk. Very, very drunk…

Grammar Lessons
Correct grammar is a huge part of parenting. There’s just so much that can be done at home, relieving pressure on teachers who have to cajole numerous little darlings into learning en masse. No-one feels this more than Holland. When Holly arrives at the (inappropriate) party and says “Dad, there are whores here and stuff”, Holland quickly corrects her, “Sweetheart how many times have I told you, don’t say ‘and stuff’, just say ‘there are whores here’.” Top parenting.

Respect: The most important of qualities. But how many kids really do respect their parents, taking their every word as gospel? In the case of Holly, it’s very clear that while she loves her Dad, she does think he’s a bit of a tit… Commenting on his partnership with hard-man Jackson Healy (played by Russell Crowe), she says “You’re the world’s worst detectives.” When you watch The Nice Guys, you may be inclined to agree with her!

Role Models – Younger…
Following hot on the heels of ‘respect’ is the importance of having great role models in your kids’ lives. Maybe someone who’s closer to them in age, but still old enough to teach them the ways of the world.  Maybe someone who’s run away from home, instigating a man hunt to find her before she gets herself killed… Oh wait! Holly’s role model in The Nice Guys is Amelia Kuttner (played by Margaret Qualley), a whimsical wild child who cannot be caught by Holland and Jackson, despite their best efforts. However Holly manages to track her down and sticks to her like glue. Sisters, doing it for themselves. And for numerous, complicated, ulterior motives.

…And Older
Also important is having older role models around who can guide your kids. An army of Godparents, Aunties, Uncles and friends who can help share the burden of parenting – especially if you’re a single Dad, like Holland. Enter Jackson, the world’s least likely role model and whom Holly forms an instant bond. Jackson’s no bullsh*t approach appeals to Holly’s sassy nature and she loves that he doesn’t treat her like a kid. When finding out what Jackson does for a living she asks, “How much would you charge to beat up my friend Janet? She’s super-annoying”, to which Jackson replies, “How much have you got?” Ideal advice for young, impressionable teens the world over.

The Nice Guys is available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms from 26th September 2016

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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