Letting Jake Be (Movie Thoughts: A Kid Like Jake)

kljSince June is Pride Month, I guess I should open it by writing about a film somewhat about the LGBTQIA experience. (In this ever-evolving world, I myself had to google what the QIA meant in this new acronym)

‘A Kid Like Jake’ is about a Park Slope couple who has a son who is described by his teachers as ‘gender expansive.’ Really – it’s a little boy who likes to dress up in princess costumes. Jim Parsons and Claire Danes play a couple who are presumably liberal, but is faced with this dilemma when the situation falls in their own backyard. Danes’ character thinks it’s some sort of phase (perhaps she is in denial?) while Parson’s character, a therapist, muses that perhaps Jake needs to seek professional advise.

The film is on the chatty side, perhaps because writer Daniel Pearle adapted it from his play.  And it took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I enjoyed if for anything the performances, especially Dane’s. Even though Jake has the title role, we know really not much about him (on the play, he is not seen at all, just talked about) and I wish there were more of him, so we could understand his character better. But this is a very interesting topic, and the film will make you ponder how you stand in this issue.

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