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What Makes a Family (2001)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  22 January 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 534 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

A lesbian, artificially inseminated, gives birth, then dies, and her companion must fight to regain custody of the child from the dead woman's grandparents.


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Title: What Makes a Family (TV Movie 2001)

What Makes a Family (TV Movie 2001) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Credited cast:
Janine Nielssen
Sandy Cataldi
Evelyn Cataldi
Al Waxman ...
Frank Cataldi
Terry Harrison
Jordy Benattar ...
Heather Cataldi
Sean McCann ...
Judge Black
Philip Williams ...
Martin Crane
Judge Shales
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reverend Greg Wasney


Brooke Shields believes she has finally found happiness, now that she and her lesbian partner (Cherry Jones) have a child. But when Jones passes away five years later and her scheming parents apply for custody behind Shields' back, an affecting struggle ensues. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Because she loved a woman, she may lose the right to keep her child.




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Release Date:

22 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Makes a Family  »

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Did You Know?


At the time of Sandy's death, it is obviously Christmastime (Heather asking about decorating the tree/Christmas music playing in scene just before Sandy's seizure; Christmas decorations present after Sandy's death during dinner scene with Janine, Peter and his partner discussing Janine's rights with Heather.) When Janine reads Sandy's obituary, a brief shot of the clipping states Sandy's death date as Friday, June 29, 2000 (which was actually a Thursday.) See more »

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User Reviews

Just thinking of this movie brings tears to my eyes
30 May 2002 | by (Hazel Park, MI) – See all my reviews

Just thinking of this movie brings tears to my eyes. It was beautifully done. I admit before the movie I thought lesbiens and homosexuals had no business having children. In two short hours my opinion changed. This movie was so beautiful and it showed me it doesn't matter what your sexual preference is. Love is love. Period. I'm outraged that Florida is so backwards. They need to get with the program.

This movie is about a lesbien couple, Sandra Cataldi and Janine Nielson. Sandra, who's a dog trainer, comes from a loving middle class class family. Janine, a nurse, comes from a cold, uncaring wealthy family. She has a poor self image until she starts dating Sandra. During their relationship, she really comes into her own. Shortly after their "wedding" they decide to have a child. Sandra gets pregnant through artifical insemination. Her parents are thrilled. Janine's are not. Everything is wonderful until Sandra is diagnosed with lupas. Through the whole ordeal, her parents were warm and loving. That changed after her death. After that, Sandra's parents take the child away and Janine must fight for her child. I was holding my breath until the end. Although I was rooting for Janine, the movie doesn't make you do that. They make it so you understand both sides, which is something I loved. This movie will make you laugh and cry. Well done Brooke, Cherry, Anne, and Sandra's father and daughter.

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