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Kid Like Jake (A)

USA, English, 92 mins

  • Director: Silas Howard
  • Writer: Silas Howard; Daniel Pearle
  • Producer: David Bernon; Jackie Bernon

CGiii Comment

The problem with A Kid Like Jake is not Jake...but, his parents!

Jake is rarely in the film...and, his educated, middle-class parents - for the most part - ignore the whopping great big elephant in the room...even though everyone else can see it's trunk a mile off!

Considering Jake's father is a psychologist and his stay-at-home mom was a lawyer...you'd think that these no-boundary-setting parents might grasp onto the fact that their son has gender identity issues! But no...they debunk that very notion, even though Jake is screeching around in a tutu!

When you create a character like Sheldon Cooper, it is a mighty challenge to shake off that mantle...here, Mr Parsons tries and is not wholly successful...there are still the mannerisms lurking behind his liberal, heterosexual, psychologist-cum-father.

There are [unnecessary] subplots galore...all avoiding that [now] trumpeting elephant. Sheldon-esque comedy is brought in via therapy sessions...alas, they aren't funny and if ever you have to see a therapist, make sure they are nothing like this one...he is the absolute antithesis of effective!

Octavia Spencer is the friend, confidante and kindergarten teacher [of Jake] and [for some unknown reason] a [box-ticking] lesbian - she is worldly-wise, offers help and advice which is - more often than not - ignored by Clare Danes' head-stuck-in-the-sand mother-in-denial...who just happens to fall pregnant during the course of the proceedings.

Where's Jake in all this? Stuck in a makeshift wigwam, dressed as a princess!

Well-intended as it obviously is...Silas Howard and Daniel Pearle fail in delivering an informative [and entertaining] film about gender dysphoria - the term isn't even used. It does raise questions as to boundary-setting, Jake has been given no boundaries and no clear answers when he asks about girls and boys! No wonder the kid is confused, this film should have been re-titled: Poor Jake...to be stuck with these blundering parents...

But...when his parents go from in-denial to all-accepting in the blink of an eye, the failure of Jake lies - squarely - at the feet of the writer(s)...and, his parents!


The(ir) Blurb...

A Brooklyn couple, trying to find the right kindergarten for their child as they navigate questions about gender identity. The couple are obsessed with getting their child into a top Manhattan pre-school, but are less sure what to do about the fact their child likes to wear dresses and play Disney Princesses.

Cast & Characters

Priyanka Chopra as Amal;
Octavia Spencer as Judy;
Claire Danes as Alex Wheeler;
Jim Parsons as Greg Wheeler;
Ann Dowd as Catherine;
Michaela Watkins as Sandra

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