Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
One True Thing
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that brief profanity earns this film an R rating, and there are intense and disturbing scenes concerning Kate's illness and euthanasia. The movie probably will not have much appeal for teens, who are seldom ready to consider their parents as fully human, but those who want to see it may come away with a better appreciation for the complexity of relationships and the diversity of accomplishments.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Based on Anna Quindlen's novel, ONE TRUE THING is the story of a young writer who learns the value of her mother when she goes to care for her during her treatment for cancer. New York magazine writer Ellen (Renee Zellweger) has always rejected her mother's (Meryl Streep) homey values to follow the career of her father (William Hurt), a distinguished literary critic, professor, and author. As Ellen cares for her mother, she finds that her father is less than she thought, and her mother is more. In understanding and accepting her parents as fully human, Ellen begins to be more fully human herself. She gains an appreciation for her mother's strength. The community and domestic projects Ellen had seen as unimportant busywork she learns to see as an essential source of sustenance.
Is it any good?
Meryl Streep shines as Ellen's mother, Kate. She's not afraid to show us the irritating side of Kate's sunny personality and the impatience she reveals as she acknowledges that she has to insist on her opportunity to talk about what is important to her before it is too late. Hurt plays Ellen's father, George. He show us that his hypocrisy comes from weakness, insecurity, and fear, in a way harder for Ellen to take than if it had been based only on selfishness.
One True Thing probably won't have much appeal for teens, who are seldom ready to consider their parents as fully human, but those who want to see it may come away with a better appreciation for the complexity of relationships and the diversity of accomplishments.
Talk to your kids about ...
For kids who love dramas
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.