×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Right to Love: An American Family

Well-intentioned but pedestrian, "The Right to Love" makes the case for gay marriage by focusing on a Northern California family of two daddies and two adopted kids.

With:
With: Bryan Leffew, Jay Foxworthy, Daniel Leffew, Selena Leffew, Denise Miney, Justin R. Cannon, Anne Leffew, Chuck Leffew, Brandon Leffew.

Well-intentioned but pedestrian, “The Right to Love” makes the case for gay marriage by focusing on a Northern California family of two daddies and two adopted kids. They are indeed very ordinary folk, beyond the same-sex union, which makes Cassie Jaye’s docu a good argument for equality but a pretty dull human-interest story. Padded with rehashes of the state’s Proposition 8 battle, plus debates over hot-button issues (school bullying, gay youth suicide) already explored in greater depth elsewhere, the pic seems unlikely to foster much change preaching to the converted in a limited, Oscar-qualifying theatrical release starting Sept. 7.

Pic would arguably be more valuable in truncated form on TV and social media, where it might access and educate gay marriage foes. In fact, much of it already has been online; Jaye uses lengthy excerpts from the “Gay Family Values” videos that Bryan Leffew and Jay Foxworthy posted on YouTube to show just how “normal and boring our family is.” They’re right: Unless you’re thrown into shock seeing a loving male couple parent two young children, this footage is no more or less interesting than anybody’s homemovies. They seem very nice guys, regular churchgoing types, their kids Selena and Daniel happy and well cared for. Those who would nix gay adoption might well ask themselves where little Daniel would be without it, as he has a developmental condition that no other family had wanted to take on.

A couple for 13 years before California briefly allowed same-sex marriage, Leffew and Foxworthy are seen protesting Prop. 8, which overturned that earlier Supreme Court decision. Pic also covers the national dialogue those events inspired, as hashed over by such personalities as Rachel Maddow and Whoopi Goldberg on one hand, Ann Coulter and Kirk Cameron on the other.

Eventually the pic moves on to the related kid-centric territories of bullying and suicide. There’s also some input from Leffew’s father, grandmother and brother, who are supportive of the couple if not necessarily of their political cause, offering potential dramatic conflict that the film doesn’t really pursue.

Some rather cloying songs aside, packaging is adequate.

The Right to Love: An American Family

Documentary

Production: A Jaye Bird Prods. release of a Jaye Bird presentation. Produced by Christina Clack, Cassie Jaye, Nena Jaye, Ford Austin, Marc Wasserman. Executive producer, Jay Pugh. Directed, edited by Cassie Jaye.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Jaye, Nena Jaye; music, Edwin Wendler; sound, Steve Orlando, Sean England, Frank Clary, Mac Smith. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Aug. 2, 2012. (In Frameline.) Running time: 89 MIN.

With: With: Bryan Leffew, Jay Foxworthy, Daniel Leffew, Selena Leffew, Denise Miney, Justin R. Cannon, Anne Leffew, Chuck Leffew, Brandon Leffew.

More Film

  • Halloween

    Movies Featured More Female Protagonists in 2018, But It's Not All Good News (Study)

    “Halloween,” “A Star is Born,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” made headlines for featuring strong roles for women, but even though the number of female film protagonists hit a high in 2018, the movie industry still offered its juiciest parts to men. At a time when Hollywood is under pressure to become more inclusive and is [...]

  • Colin Farrell Dumbo

    Colin Farrell To Star in Andrew Haigh's BBC Two Thriller 'The North Water'

    Colin Farrell is set to star in “The North Water,” the BBC Two thriller which will be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (“Lean on Pete”). Based on Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series is being adapted by Haigh and produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two. More Reviews Film Review: Keira Knightley in [...]

  • New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to

    New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to Los Angeles Studio Role

    Wayne Borg, who has headed the Fox Studios Australia operations in Sydney for the past four years, has been appointed president and general manager of studios at New Fox. He will relocate from Australia to Los Angeles. Fox Studios Australia, which is to remain part of 21st Century Fox and will become part of Disney [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. More Reviews Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath' Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content