Movies that Depict the Myriad of Forms a Family Can Take – Every Movie Has a Lesson

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by Adrian Johansen

There have been more movies about families over the years than we could ever talk about. But, when you first think of some of the classics, movies that focus on nuclear families probably come to mind.

This has changed over the past few decades. Societal trends are changing, as are family trends. As we study and learn more about human development and studying families more closely, it has become clear that the nuclear family is simply not “the norm” anymore. Step families, LGBTQ + families, adoptive families and even families of friends are increasingly common.

Because art mimics reality, more and more movies are also starting to portray the myriad of forms that a family can take. It’s a great way to represent people from all walks of life and from different family situations. It also indicates where we are, as a society, and how the definition of “family” is likely to continue to adapt and change.

With that in mind, let’s watch a few movies that portray families in a non-traditional way.

Mrs. Doubtfire

While we would not recommend portraying a Scottish nanny to spend more time with your children, it is undeniable that the years 1993 Mrs. Doubtfire offered a comical but touching take on the idea of ​​co-parenting. For children of divorce or even parents struggling to cope with custody issues, the comedy from this classic film has helped ease some of these traditional tensions.

Co-parenting isn’t easy, but millions of couples around the world need to do it. Some of the commons co-parenting challenges understand:

  • Disciplinary differences

  • Lack of communication

  • Consistency issues

  • Manage conflicts

Amidst the comedic moments throughout the film, Mrs. Doubtfire discusses the pain of divorce and how the thought of wasting time with children can be so devastating. This is why the character of Robin Williams goes to great lengths to spend more time with his children.

At the end of the film, when Ms. Doubtfire’s true identity is revealed, it finally shows a co-parenting establishment and a plan for how the two divorced characters are going to progress. These final moments can give a lot of hope to parents who are struggling right now or to children who are wondering how their lives could change if their parents divorce.

Lilo and Stitch

We couldn’t use such a famous quote in the title and not at least mention the 2002 animated film. When Lilo and Stitch was first published, most people focused on the funny but ridiculous antics of the little blue alien. But, family has been at the heart of this movie from the very beginning.

It’s a theme that Disney tackles with so many of its films. In the past, the animation studio has covered family issues such as:

In Lilo and Stitch, the story changes slightly. The film is set after the death of Lilo’s parents, so she is taken in by her sister, Nani. The film shows Nani struggling to make ends meet by working as a waitress. He also shows how difficult these situations can be when a social worker gets involved, expressing concern over whether Nani can actually take care of Lilo. As you might expect, hilarity and chaos ensue. But, the very heart of the movie centers on the importance of family, and it’s a great description of how different types of families – even those without parents – can overcome obstacles.

Instant family

On 135,000 children are adopted annually in the United States. So it makes sense that there are some good ones films on the subject and the families concerned. Some notable titles include:

  • The blind side

  • Juno

  • Annie

  • Paper dream

You might not expect an action star like Mark Wahlberg to collide with an adoption flick, but that’s exactly what happened in 2018. Instant family. This film offers a heartwarming and at times comical take on the ins and outs of promotion and adoption while touching on some very real and difficult things. realities and challenges. It focuses on a couple who take in three siblings who would otherwise be wards of the state due to a mother who has not been able to support them.

The interesting element of this film is the age of the children. It shows how the younger two warm up almost instantly with the couple, while the older one has a harder time separating his past from his present. For anyone thinking of adoption or the families who have gone through the process, it offers a real and raw perspective while showing the hope, strength and love of a family – however this may be. family is built.

There are so many movies that prove family is the most important. But, the very definition of family is changing all the time. These are just a few examples of how the nuclear family is no longer the norm for so many people, and we’ll likely continue to see that kind of portrayal on the big screen.


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