What Makes a Family

Watch What Makes a Family

  • TV-14
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.6  (794)

What Makes a Family is a heartwarming drama from 2001 that tells the story of a lesbian couple and their battle to adopt a child. The movie stars Brooke Shields as lesbian artist Janine Nielssen, Cherry Jones as her partner, and Anne Meara as their lawyer. The movie begins when Janine falls in love with her girlfriend, Sandy (Cherry Jones), and decides to start a family. However, the couple soon discovers that adoption laws in Florida, where they live, prohibit same-sex couples from adopting children. Despite this setback, the couple is determined to become parents and they embark on a legal battle to challenge the state's discriminatory laws.

Janine and Sandy's journey towards parenthood is not an easy one. They face a lot of opposition from the state, from conservative groups, and even from some of their friends. However, the couple refuses to back down and are willing to do whatever it takes to become a family.

Meanwhile, Janine's parents are struggling to come to terms with their daughter's sexual orientation. Her mother, played by Anne Meara, is particularly resistant to the idea of her daughter having a child with another woman. However, as the movie progresses, her parents start to understand and support their daughter's decision.

What Makes a Family shows the struggles that same-sex couples face when starting a family. The movie portrays the legal and social barriers that must be overcome in order to build a family outside of traditional heterosexual norms. It also highlights the importance of love, sacrifice, and support in creating a strong and loving family.

The performances in the movie are excellent, particularly Brooke Shields as Janine. Shields portrays a woman who is passionate about her art and her desire to create a family. Cherry Jones delivers an understated performance as Janine's partner, Sandy. Jones' portrayal of Sandy shows a woman who is quieter than Janine, but no less committed to building a family.

Anne Meara, who plays Janine's mother, is particularly impressive. Meara portrays a woman who is initially hostile to her daughter's lifestyle, but who eventually comes to understand and embrace her daughter's choice.

The movie's defining message is that love does not discriminate. The movie shows that families can be created in different ways, and that love is what truly matters. It also shows that the law can be changed, and that determined individuals can fight for their rights and make a difference.

Overall, What Makes a Family is a beautifully made movie that will make you laugh, cry, and feel inspired. It tells a universal story of love, family, and acceptance that is relatable to all. The movie's message of hope is a powerful reminder that with determination and love, anything is possible.

What Makes a Family
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (794)