All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise

All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise" is a touching but rarely adventurous collage of gay and lesbian families on a boat trip to the Bahamas which becomes an oasis of love and acceptance. Aside from her comedy routines and kitschy Broadway numbers endemic to all cruises, Rosie O'Donnell herself takes a backseat to the emotional stories of same-sex couples and their struggles to have and keep their children.

With:
With: Rosie O'Donnell, Kelli O'Donnell.

“All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise” is a touching but rarely adventurous collage of gay and lesbian families on a boat trip to the Bahamas which becomes an oasis of love and acceptance. Aside from her comedy routines and kitschy Broadway numbers endemic to all cruises, Rosie O’Donnell herself takes a backseat to the emotional stories of same-sex couples and their struggles to have and keep their children. Well-made docu is a natural pickup for gay fests before, and possibly after, its April 6 bow on HBO.

Directed with no-frills focus by Shari Cookson, this happy-sad celebration encourages parents and children to discuss their longing for public acceptance, to moving if sometimes monotonous effect. Camera subjects include Rosie and Kelli O’Donnell and their four children; two lesbians struggling to conceive (and two gay men who offer donor assistance); and former NFL star Esera Tuaolo, who describes his own journey out of the closet. In docu’s most electrifying moment, as droves of Bible-waving protesters in the Bahamas sing “What a mighty God we serve,” the cruise minister sings it right back at them, wrenchingly dramatizing the unbridgeable divide between two equally convicted sides.

All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise

Production: An HBO Documentary Films presentation of a Sceneworks production in association with Kidro Prods. Produced by Shari Cookson, John Hoffman. Executive producers, Sheila Nevins, Kelli O'Donnell, Rosie O'Donnell. Co-producer, Charlton McMillan. Directed by Shari Cookson.

Crew: Camera (color), Maryse Alberti; editor, Charlton McMillan; music supervisor, Gerry Gershman. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 22, 2006. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Rosie O'Donnell, Kelli O'Donnell.

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