DVD Review: A Kid Like Jake
What happens now?
Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg (Jim Parsons) are parents to a young boy named Jake (Leo James Davis) and with kindergarten coming up, they are looking for the best school for him. While applying for many private schools, his preschool director Judy (Octavia Spencer) points out that Jake's love of all things princess may be a bit more than a phase, and both parents deal in different ways.
Not too long ago I watched Girl on Netflix. That film was about a transgender ballerina and it received a lot of well earned criticism for the way it portrayed that story.Going into this knowing a transgender director, Silas Howard was at the helm at least told me that it would be handled with care.
And it is. A Kid Like Jake isn't really about Jake at all, it's about how Alex and Greg navigate parenthood after acknowledging that maybe Jake doesn't really feel like a boy. Both of them are progressive people and I felt like their fears and acknowledgements rang true. Greg is more open to the idea than Alex who goes through a denial phase. My only wish is that the film would've felt more cohesive.
Writer Daniel Pearle adapted this story based on his own play, and you can tell that's how it originated because sometimes the performances are way too theatrical to fit the tone of the movie. Danes and Parsons often feel like they're talking at each other instead of to each other. Danes being the most over the top of the two. I think both are reliable actors and it's nice to see Parsons play someone that isn't Sheldon Cooper, but I felt Danes needed to be toned down a bit, and they could've completely dropped the subplot with one of Greg's patients that ate up a decent chunk of the film and went nowhere. I think we could've spent that time getting to know Jake, the title character instead.
This is one of those movies that I think I appreciate more than I like. I appreciate the care taken by all involved, but I'm not a huge fan of the finished product for the reasons mentioned.
Memorable Quote: "Are you saying he's done this before?" - Greg (Jim Parsons)