A Kid Like Jake (2018) Poster

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4/10
Need More Jake
westsideschl12 September 2018
Good subject, but just didn't learn much or feel much of a connection to the issue and especially to Jake who maybe occupied five minutes of an 89 minute movie. Seemed to be more about the parents personal issues so maybe should have been titled "The Parents of Jake". Seems many other 5 star & lower viewer's comments had similar thoughts.
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1/10
Child abuse how to
dmtudder-455372 December 2019
Next movie maybe hollyweird could champion anorexia or Bulimia. This is a movie about making mental cases out of children who have started having mental problems. It doesn't help those who suffer and only forwards a political agenda.
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3/10
if you enjoy arguing
ferguson-631 May 2018
Greetings again from the darkness. Hot societal topics often become fodder for new movies, and this usually results in a slew of similar stories - some good, others not so good. Currently, discussions of gender identity is second only to Trump-bashing in terms of media attention, and so we can expect Hollywood to rush-to-production in order to capitalize. This latest from director Silas Howard had a timing advantage as it was adapted by writer Daniel Pearle from his own play.

The titular Jake is a 4 year old (his 5th birthday party plays a role) who enjoys fairy tales and dressing like a princess. His stay-at-home mom (Claire Danes as Alex Wheeler) and psychologist father (Jim Parsons as Greg Wheeler) are aware of Jake's preferences, but as with most things in their marriage, what minimal conversation occurs is of the over-the-top arguing type. The "issue" is painfully and awkwardly brought to the forefront as the parenting couple subject themselves to the Private Pre-School application process.

The challenges of parenthood, including judgmental friends and relatives, and the competitive nature of comparisons, are beyond obvious in most every scene of Act 1. Even Alex's (probably not coincidental that her name is gender-neutral) mother (Ann Dowd) is passive-aggressive in her judgments of Alex quitting her job as a lawyer to stay home with her son. Octavia Spencer co-stars as Jake's teacher and counselor to the Wheelers during the application process, and even her role has a twist designed to elicit more judgment and discrimination.

There is really nothing convincing throughout the film. It's barely Lifetime Channel material, with a simplified emphasis on the difficulties of raising a non-conforming child. The incessant arguing amongst parents, family members, and friends makes each successive scene more annoying than the previous. The film should have been entitled "Parents Like Jake's" because Jake has almost no screen time, while Ms. Danes flashes her "Carrie cry-face" (for "Homeland" fans) incessantly.

Certainly the topic of gender identity and non-conformity is worthy of discussion and analysis, as it has entered mainstream conscience in less than one generation. Anxiety and confusion exists, and even well-meaning conversation can take a wrong turn quickly. We just need - and deserve - better guidance than this film provides.
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8/10
it's really about the adults
chicagovesuvi13 June 2018
Claire Danes and Jim Parsons give some impassioned performances in this tale about the parents, teachers and other adults in the orbit of a 4 year-old who exhibits some indication of gender non-conformity which morphs into something slightly more violent after some bullying and attempts to set boundaries. Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra and Ann Dowd comprise the strong supporting cast. Everyone is trying to do their best in a sensitive situation. That's where the tension builds.

This movie isn't so much about clear-cut solutions, but more about how painful it is to feel the burden of doing what's considered right... and everyone has a different idea of exactly what that is. Plus each character has stresses which complicates their perceptions.

Ultimately, being nurturing, supportive and patient seems to be the bow tied on this brief interlude. But, I'd say, this movie is less about concrete answers and more about the situation, capped with some gut-wrenching dramatic presentation.
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1/10
Don't bother
alexdare24 August 2018
Who thought Jim Parsons could pull this off? And against Claire Danes who's a brilliant actor.
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1/10
"A Kid Like Jake"? Who? He hardly even remember him in the movie!
robertmacduffie6 June 2018
I don't really remember "Jake" being in the movie much! It was just about his parents and their conflicts in dealing having a weird kid. While we're on the subject of weird... I find it really difficult to buy that Parsons is actually a mainstream heterosexual parent in this film. He is not that good of an actor to be trying to pull it off. Now sure, he does play a straight guy in "The Big Bang Theory", but he plays a weird socially inept research scientist. This move is totally out of his range.

Anyway, the movie really was terrible. Lots of arguing and bad acting. Maybe if it were a TV movie, it might be okay, but I still wouldn't watch it.
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4/10
Without Jake
SnoopyStyle28 August 2018
Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg Wheeler (Jim Parsons) are loving parents of their son Jake in New York. He's a psychiatrist who avoids confrontation. She's a former lawyer staying home to care for Jake despite shade from her mother (Ann Dowd). They send Jake to kindergarten run by Judy (Octavia Spencer). Judy reports some difficulties with Jake wearing dresses as the loving parents struggle with this gender issue.

This is a story about Jake. Jake should be the lead. Jake holds the more compelling drama. Jake is rarely seen and even less heard from. This is a story about Jake without Jake. The major dramatic event comes in the second half. The first half is mostly the parents tippy toeing the issue and the movie is infected with the tippy toeing. Instead of immersing in the drama, it walks around it and avoids it. This could be a great movie if it's about the kid and not the parents.
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5/10
It's really about the parents of Jake
chong_an25 May 2018
SPOILER: Given that this was originally written as a play, it may be unavoidable that most of the story is of the adults. Jake's father is a Freudian-style psychologist, and there is a fair degree of filler as he repeatedly meets with a client. Jake's mother has had ballet training, had worked as a lawyer, but dropped out to be a full-time mother, to the disapproval of HER mother.

Filled with fairy tales read by his mother, there is little attempt by either parent to "correct" Jake's non-gender-conforming behavior - wearing dresses, playing the role of princess. Even at a queer-friendly pre-school, there are signs of trouble. Things get worse when the parents try to place Jake in a private kindergarten, where trial placements often end up with verbal abuse and fights.

The entire story happens over maybe 8 months, so there is no answer to the question as to whether Jake grows out non-conforming behavior, or actually identifies as a girl. I did note that Jake's last scene had him wearing not a dress but a tutu. Was it all simply his mother's influence?
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5/10
Poor Jake
jmiller2119 February 2019
With parents and teachers like these, that kid doesn't stand a chance. This movie could be a documentary on how to destroy a child's future. This is a household where the parents are at best confused, and probably too immature to raise a child. There are no boundaries, no expectations and no one has the courage to put a disruptive non conforming child in his place. You want a messed up kid? Follow this example.
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3/10
Doesn't accomplish what it wants to!!
vandrist1 December 2018
It's 2018, so it was only a matter or time before a movie like this was made. I think much like what this movie is about, it struggles to find what it wants to be. I don't think this movie is a fair representation of what a family goes through when their kid struggles with finding their identity. I don't disagree with making a movie like this and raising awareness, but this was poorly executed. Don't get lost in the higher profiles actors and be fooled that this good.
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2/10
Should have been titled " the parents of a kid like Jake"
janiepharm2 November 2018
Watching this movie, I couldn't see anything other than weird Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory and crazy Carrie Mathison from Homeland trying to manage their special child. Of course the child would be special. But the movie is all about the parents and not about what help Jake should receive to try to manage his challenges. Very disappointing.
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5/10
Gender confusion or parent confusion?
NiaSkywalker731 March 2019
To me, this movie portrayed parents so worried about their child being a victim of gender "expansion", that they missed the point that he was exhibiting aggressive behavior and stubbornness issues. Also, I love and adore Jim Parsons, but it was painful watching him attempt to portray a straight man....just as it is painful to watch the straight Eric McCormack attempt to portray a gay man. It just doesn't work.
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3/10
A Missed Opportunity
illymflt8 June 2018
This film wasn't ready for production.

The characters are massively underdeveloped, and the storyline is just self-contradictory and nonsensical all around, devoid of any substance.

The film communicates very little - if anything at all.
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2/10
Boring!
metta121 December 2018
There should have been more scenes involving Jake and way fewer of the parents talking. I also found it hard to believe that Jim Parsons (who we know is gay) is being a husband to a women. The camera moves made me dizzy at times also.
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1/10
Garbage
bradlivingston-1503010 June 2018
A really sad missed opportunity to tell a good story.
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4/10
Character Development?
wisewebwoman13 January 2019
This film was done much better in a little French gem released many years ago called Ma Vie en Rose.

Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg Wheeler (Jim Parsons) play the parents of a son Jake who likes to wear dresses. He's a psychiatrist (ha!) she's a part time lawyer. They send Jake to a kindergarten run by Judy (Octavia Spencer) who appears to be BFF with Alex but this isn't clearly established.

All of this results in eternal conflict everywhere. No foundations are established for any of the relationships and they all seem hostile.

Jake is rarely seen or heard from apart from the swishing of his tulle skirts and reports only of his bad behaviour.

It's a popular topic at the moment and this film is obviously cashing in on this and failing on every level.

And the ending.

Please. But of course.
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9/10
Incredible Acting and True to life Dialogue
ljbimoore-8491622 April 2019
I loved this film. It offers no answers, just a discussion and a snapshot of what life for the parents of a non-gender-conforming child must be like. Both parents (and all the adults in Jake's life actually) are trying their hardest to do what is best for him. They all clearly love him and want him to be happy.

The dialogue in this film is perfect, everything feels natural and organic; it's as though, you're truly watching these moments unfold on a hidden camera. The scenes are acted beautifully, with truth and authenticity.

Those reviewers claiming that Jim Parsons is limited in his ability to play a straight character are showing their own bias. This character is specifically shown as a gentle man, one who does not himself conform to some "macho" stereotype. He plays the character wonderfully with subtlety and ease. I also felt the chemistry between him and Claire Danes was great. It is established very early on how much they love each other and what great friends they are as well; which becomes increasingly important as you watch them struggle with the challenges the situation brings to their marriage. I was genuinely routing for them.

I only took one star off because there is a bit of odd editing in the first 15-20 minutes of the film. But that resolves itself and the pacing becomes another helpful device in this incredibly well told story.

I highly recommend this film!!
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9/10
Great story
samantha-horn20104 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I honestly thought this was a great story on a very sensitive subject for some. I like how they make the story about the parents and how they achieve to be on good terms on how there son acts. The mother can't seem to come to terms or what to believe her son is transgender.

For the other reviewers that say they need more of the boy in the film, because it says his name in the title. The movie IS about him just in a 3rd person and as a background character. Jake in my eyes is the star of this movie

Well done
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1/10
Absolute Garbage
justinm-629038 December 2019
Leftist trash propaganda. Do not watch this garbage
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1/10
Beware of the "Judies"
vgergo727 December 2019
I think the movie is making a pretty strong case for parents to pay attention when selecting kindergarten teachers.
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8/10
From a Different Viewpoint
Magnolia_Green26 February 2019
Being a parent is MAD HARD! A mini version of yourself is the universes response to your parent saying, wait til your child acts just like you. But when you birth a son, and that son wants to wear dresses and be the princess during pretend time, what do you do? This movie follows two parents that has this reality thrust in their face as they attempt to enroll their son in a good school. Whether you are in denial or in search of guidance, one thing is a bonafide fact, their son likes to dress as a girl. I get why the movie was given such a low score. It pushes people past their comfort zones. I certainly felt extremely uncomfortable with how the parents were handling (or not) the situation. The lack of discussing it, denial, making excuses, turning a blind eye, and worse, ignoring it. Whatever you feel or felt, it is a child. A four year old child You want to be accepting, but you also want your boy to be a boy and dress and "act like" a boy. But, in today's society of putting it all out there, how do you deal with such a heavy load? One parent pissed me off to no end. All I wanted to do was smash their face in. The other parent irked me for not stepping up. Certain times are not meant to be passive moments. So, what do you do? I rated the movie an 8 because it pushed you. It makes you think, as a parent, what would I do? The movie makes you look at children and have a bit more compassion. It wasn't a bad movie at all.
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9/10
REALLY GOOD
ishuman17 June 2018
A quite movie telling an important story. Great cast, good acting. Worthy of seeing twice.
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10/10
Amazing performance
CourtenaySutton10 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Greg and Alex Wheeler (Jim Parsons & Claire Danes) make an amazing performance about their son Jake (Leo James Davis) who is a young 5 year old who dresses up as a girl and likes most girly things. They show the real roles of how it can be hard trying to figure out how to approach the subject with their son. On Jake's 5th birthday his friend Sanjay (Rhys Bhatia) pushes another kids for calling Jake a fag. This movie in my honest opinion is a great, and thought provoking.
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An emotional journey
Gordon-1114 November 2018
This film tells a story of two parents who struggle to come to terms with their young sons gender non conformity.

I had no idea what the story was about when I watched it, so initially I thought it was about tiger mums. Then, when the gender subplot kicks in, I find it fascinating and emotional. It tells a compelling journey to get to where they need to get to. I'm impressed by the film. Well done!
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10/10
Not the movie I expected but still enjoyed every second of it.
sheysii29 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not gonna lie people, I started to watch because of Jim Parsons. And the movie itself is a drama that has family in it so it's literally what I'd love to watch. At the start of the film, I didn't know why it was not cheerish at all. You get to understand why the movie has a low vibe but by the time you get it, it's unfortunately too too late. First of all they don't seem to be parents who can't think outside of the box. So you're like "Why she just can't get it?".

This movie does not show parents who accept their child's differences and neither the other way. Without the last 1 minute of the movie, it's all in the middle.and I personally don't like it at all. This 6 only goes for Jim Parsons.
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