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Family System in “The Kids Are All Right” by Lisa Cholodenko Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jan 23rd, 2021

Lisa Cholodenko, the director of the film the kids are all right, explores human relationships in a family system. As a family with a couple of same-sex, Cholodenko focuses on the challenges and ways in which the family members overcome them. The parents in the family are lesbian individuals Nic and Jules, each with a child of her own. The children Joni and Laser originate from an unknown sperm donor, a fact that ignites them to search for their biological father.

While Nic performs the masculine roles, Jules presents herself as the mother in the family. Authentically, Cholodenko focuses on one family system that is rare in society. The next discussion analyses the family in Cholodenko film, focusing on the parenting system and its impact on the members.

Cholodenko exploits a family whose composers are mainly females. Consequently, the family experiences relationship dynamics, especially when the children locate their father (sperm donor). Nic, who is an obstetrician, seems to be the father in the family because she caters to all the family needs, while Jules is the mother of the home. Furthermore, Jules has no career, although she has an interest in carrying out a design and landscaping business.

Nic has an eighteen-year-old daughter Joni while Jules has a fifteen-year-old son, Laser. Although Joni and Laser are from different mothers, they have a tight bond between them because Joni accepts to assist her brother in finding their father. Later on, Paul (father) comes into the family, but Nic dislikes the idea, as he seems to break her rules. The children become closer to Jules and Paul, an action that raises a conflict in the family. Furthermore, when Nic and the children discover Jules and Paul are having an affair, they become furious. Therefore, the entrance of Paul in the family leads to tension in the family. Initially, everything seems to crumble, but Jules and Nic decide to air out their differences leading to a happy family.

Nic and Jules practice the authoritative parenting style. For instance, Nic has laid out rules, which all the children have to obey while Jules respects the orders (Darling, 1999, p.2). Nic has restricted Joni’s freedom, and none of them should use a motorcycle. Unfortunately, there is a disagreement when Paul decides to give the children a ride on the motorcycle. Although Jules is aware of the rules, she lags behind accomplishing some of them.

Moreover, Nic seems highly intrusive because she closely monitors the behavior of the children, thus discovering their relationship with Paul. When Paul comes into the family, the parents decide to bond with him in the presence of the children. Therefore, the parenting style not only motivates the children to respect their parents but also nurtures the children socially. For example, Joni has friends who include Sasha and Jai, while Laser’s friend is Clay. In addition, the parents acknowledge their friends, which leads to a peaceful family. Finally, the children also support their parents, especially Nic, in rejecting Paul against intruding into the family’s affairs.

Resource wise, Nic is an obstetrician, while Jules has just started a landscaping business. There are no financial constraints in the family. Socially, emotionally and physically, all the four family members assist each other. For example, children encourage their parents to stay together. Joni and Laser also reject Paul, while Jules and Nic reconcile after an agreement. However, the major problem in the family is that the children should realize that their parents are lesbians.

Therefore, the presence of a man like Paul will lead to conflicts. Both Nick and Jules should either counsel their children about their relationship or locate a trusted individual to carry out the counseling. The second problem is the lack of trust, which was about to break the family. When Jules decides to have an affair with Paul, a conflict ensues between her and Nic. Consequently, she even starts to spend her nights on the couch.

Thus, the family should learn about conflict resolution, an issue that can lead to separation. Finally, Nic is too strict, a fact that motivates both the children and Jules to resort to secrecy. Besides hiding the issue about Paul, they also break some of the rules imposed by Nic. If all the family members attend a counseling session on openness, then there will be no conflicts.

In conclusion, Cholodenko’s film highlights a type of family that is rare in society. Very few countries allow gay or lesbian marriages. Nic and Jules have defined their roles in the family. While Nic is the man in the family, Jules presents herself as the homemaker. Nic practices the authoritative parenting style, which has a positive impact on the children because they grow up as socially responsible people. Although the families experience a few challenges at the end of the film, everybody becomes satisfied with her position. However, the family needs to attend counseling to solve few problems like trust, strictness, and educate the children on the type of family they come from.

References

Cholodenko, L. (director). (2010). The kids are all right. Focus features. Film.

Darling, N. (1999). Parenting Style and Its Correlates. Eric digest, ED 42789, 2-4.

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IvyPanda. "Family System in "The Kids Are All Right" by Lisa Cholodenko." January 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-system-in-the-kids-are-all-right-by-lisa-cholodenko/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Family System in "The Kids Are All Right" by Lisa Cholodenko." January 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-system-in-the-kids-are-all-right-by-lisa-cholodenko/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Family System in "The Kids Are All Right" by Lisa Cholodenko'. 23 January.

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