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Philippe de Chauveron
I watched this a second time. With a million movies I haven't seen yet, and more produced each year than there are hours to watch them, seeing this again was still worth it.
Seven children ranging from toddler to sub-adult, the result of multiple marriages, repeated divorce, and interlocking (but not incestuous) remarriage, are bouncing between the homes of several sets of parents, stepparents, and grandma each week. Worse, they're being jerked around by the adults, who constantly change the schedules for work or personal reasons, or sometimes just forget. Enough is enough! The kids hatch a scheme to shift the balance of power. The ensuing struggles become a learning experience for everyone. Some romances bloom, and others are tested. More than a few funny moments keep things light.
It's so strange, and amazingly satisfying, to see a realistic, un-bowdlerized portrayal of multiple generations interacting in meaningful ways, without stereotyping or demonizing either the old, the young, or those in between. The little kids act like little kids. The teens and tweens take tentative steps toward maturity. And the adults do things that adults do -- and the children are aware of, react to, and comment on all of it, which is why something of this high quality is produced in France, not here in the U.S.
In many places, We Are Family would be recognized as a fine family comedy, suitable and fun for all ages. (And some of the international ratings reflect that judgement.) Netflix rates it here as TV-MA. What a depressing commentary on our values when this is considered less suitable for kids than any hyper-violent, PG-13, Marvel superhero movie or Fast & Furious flic. I weep for our nation.
But then I remember how excellent this was, and hope springs eternal. Change will come.
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