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A Kid Like Jake (2018)

R | | Drama, Family | 1 June 2018 (USA)
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Loving parents of a four-year-old must come to terms with their child being transgender.

Director:

Silas Howard

Writers:

Daniel Pearle (adapted by), Daniel Pearle (based on play) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Danes ... Alex Wheeler
Jim Parsons ... Greg Wheeler
Octavia Spencer ... Judy
Priyanka Chopra ... Amal
Ann Dowd ... Catherine
Amy Landecker ... Sandra
Leo James Davis ... Jake Wheeler
Julia Chan ... Michelle
Lee Aaron Rosen ... Tom Hedwall
Kelly Deadmon ... Cynthia Hedwall
Olivia Bond ... Kimmie
Rhys Bhatia Rhys Bhatia ... Sanjay
Aneesh Sheth ... Dr. Laurel Hendricks
Cindy Cheung ... Woman
Eve Lindley ... Waiter #1
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Storyline

A Brooklyn couple has always known that their four-year-old son is more interested in fairy tale princesses than toy cars. But when his preschool director points out that his gender-nonconforming play may be more than a phase, the couple is forced to rethink their roles as parents and spouses. Written by A Kid Like Jake

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Kid Like Jake See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,936, 3 June 2018

Gross USA:

$44,824
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the third collaboration between Octavia Spencer and Jim Parsons. The first was on The Big Bang Theory ("The Euclid Alternative" Season 2, Episode 5). Ms. Spencer played a DMV agent dealing with the exasperating Mr. Parsons. The second was in Hidden Figures (2016) See more »

Quotes

Tom Hedwall: Jake's like twice the size he was at Christmas.
Greg Wheeler: Oh yeah! You know we should really stop feeding him.
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User Reviews

 
if you enjoy arguing
31 May 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Hot societal topics often become fodder for new movies, and this usually results in a slew of similar stories - some good, others not so good. Currently, discussions of gender identity is second only to Trump-bashing in terms of media attention, and so we can expect Hollywood to rush-to-production in order to capitalize. This latest from director Silas Howard had a timing advantage as it was adapted by writer Daniel Pearle from his own play.

The titular Jake is a 4 year old (his 5th birthday party plays a role) who enjoys fairy tales and dressing like a princess. His stay-at-home mom (Claire Danes as Alex Wheeler) and psychologist father (Jim Parsons as Greg Wheeler) are aware of Jake's preferences, but as with most things in their marriage, what minimal conversation occurs is of the over-the-top arguing type. The "issue" is painfully and awkwardly brought to the forefront as the parenting couple subject themselves to the Private Pre-School application process.

The challenges of parenthood, including judgmental friends and relatives, and the competitive nature of comparisons, are beyond obvious in most every scene of Act 1. Even Alex's (probably not coincidental that her name is gender-neutral) mother (Ann Dowd) is passive-aggressive in her judgments of Alex quitting her job as a lawyer to stay home with her son. Octavia Spencer co-stars as Jake's teacher and counselor to the Wheelers during the application process, and even her role has a twist designed to elicit more judgment and discrimination.

There is really nothing convincing throughout the film. It's barely Lifetime Channel material, with a simplified emphasis on the difficulties of raising a non-conforming child. The incessant arguing amongst parents, family members, and friends makes each successive scene more annoying than the previous. The film should have been entitled "Parents Like Jake's" because Jake has almost no screen time, while Ms. Danes flashes her "Carrie cry-face" (for "Homeland" fans) incessantly.

Certainly the topic of gender identity and non-conformity is worthy of discussion and analysis, as it has entered mainstream conscience in less than one generation. Anxiety and confusion exists, and even well-meaning conversation can take a wrong turn quickly. We just need - and deserve - better guidance than this film provides.


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