One True Thing

(i)

 

Sad drama probably won't appeal to teens.
  • Review Date: May 8, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1998
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Intense and disturbing scenes concerning Kate's illness and euthanasia.

Sex

Mild.

Language

Language earned this an R rating.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking

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

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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?

QUALITY

Streep shines as Ellen's mother, Kate, 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this movie's messages about the complexity of relationships and the diversity of accomplishments.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 18, 1998
DVD release date:March 16, 1999
Cast:Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger, William Hurt
Director:Carl Franklin
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

This review of One True Thing was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byBirdBoyBen July 31, 2012

Great if you're interested

I watched this film first when I was eleven and it is one of my favourite films to date. Teens need to be mature to watch it and enjoy serious, non-action films but if they do than I would highly recommend it. It features positive role models and has a very touching ending that will hopefully change the way some teens treat their parents.
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