A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sensitive portrayal of a pre-operative transsexual discusses genitals regularly and features brief, nonsexual glimpses of both male and female body parts. A 17-year-old boy is also shown turning a trick with a man and posing provocatively in underwear -- an occasional bare bottom is shown. The teen boy, who has had a troubled childhood, drinks, smokes cigarettes, snorts drugs, and gets involved in the porn industry -- though these situations are all portrayed as negatives.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The week before Bree (Felicity Huffman) is scheduled to undergo a long-planned sex change operation, she finds out she fathered a child 17 years ago. The boy's troubled childhood has landed him in New York turning tricks and using drugs. Bree reluctantly travels to New York to bail him out, and they end up on a road trip across the county under the pretense that Bree is a church lady determined to change his immoral ways. Along the way the two learn about each other, for better or worse, and when Bree finally reveals her relationship to the boy he flees. In the end the duo take steps to repair their relationship.
Is it any good?
Felicity Huffman's portrayal of the pre-operative transsexual Bree is brilliant, and she won awards and was nominated for an Oscar for the performance. She imbues Bree with the awkwardness of a person highly conscious of the way she presents herself to the world, without turning the character into a buffoon. The relationship that develops between Bree and the boy is difficult and complicated, just like real life. And the encounter with Bree's family is filled with humor and poignancy.
The film is a lovely sketch of family and a personal struggle for identity, although its themes are too mature for kids and younger teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie portrays gender "dysphoria" -- or the sense that one's body does not match one's gender. What made this movie's treatment of a man dressing like a woman different from others you've seen?
Did anything about Bree's appearance or manner seem funny or make you uncomfortable? Why or why not? Did the movie change how you think about transsexual people?