Watch A Family Thing
- 1 hr 49 min
A Family Thing is a heartfelt and poignant drama about two men who discover they are half-brothers, each born to different mothers. Earl Pilcher Jr. (Robert Duvall) is a middle-aged, white, small-town Arkansas mechanic who has just lost his mother. Ray Murdock (James Earl Jones) is a successful black lawyer from Chicago who shows up at Earl's door claiming to be his long-lost brother.
At first, Earl is skeptical and resistant to the idea of having a black relative. As a southern white man, he has never had much exposure to black people, and his prejudices run deep. However, as he spends more time with Ray and learns about their shared family history, he begins to open his heart and mind to a new kind of connection.
Michael Beach co-stars as Ray's nephew, Virgil, who is initially wary of his uncle's new family member but eventually grows to accept and love Earl as well. The film explores themes of family, identity, and race, as well as the tension between tradition and progress.
What makes A Family Thing so special is its authentic portrayal of complicated family relationships and the struggles that come with accepting people who are different from ourselves. The chemistry between Duvall and Jones is electric, and their performances are deeply moving. Beach also turns in a strong performance as the intermediary between the two brothers, providing much-needed perspective and guidance.
There are moments of humor and warmth throughout the film, as Earl and Ray come to terms with their new brotherhood and navigate the differences and similarities between them. They visit their shared mother's grave, share old family stories, and even try to cook a traditional southern meal together.
But A Family Thing is not just a feel-good movie. It delves into the challenges and complexities of interracial relationships and the way that prejudice can be passed down through generations. Earl's resistance to accepting his new brother stems from a lifetime of ingrained beliefs and values, and it takes time and effort to undo those attitudes.
There are also themes of grief and loss throughout the film, as both Earl and Ray grapple with the legacy of their mother's choices and the consequences that reverberate through their family. These emotional threads make A Family Thing a powerful and unforgettable film that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll.
Overall, A Family Thing is a beautifully crafted drama that deals with weighty themes in a respectful and empathetic way. It is a testament to the power of family and forgiveness, and a reminder that we all have more in common than we may realize. The performances from Duvall, Jones, and Beach are exceptional, and the film's message is both timeless and timely. A must-see for anyone who values thoughtful and well-crafted storytelling.
A Family Thing is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 71.