From Rosie O'Donnell comes "A Family Is a Family Is a Family," a great-looking new documentary premiering Sunday, January 31, at 7 p.m. ET on HBO.
Much of the film features children talking about their families, including ones with same-sex parents, single parents, adoptive families, and mixed-heritage families. Part of it features Rosie talking with her daughter Vivienne Rose about how their family came to be--and how, even after Rosie's recent separation from Kelli, the children's other mom, they are still a family. There are musical and animated interludes, including original songs by They Might Be Giants and Sweet Honey in the Rock.
For one segment, however, I have to fall back on the HBO description:
O'Donnell's tongue-in-cheek performance of "My Science Project" tells the animated story of a young girl whose class project describes the scientific way she came to be. And Frank Sinatra's rendition of "Too Marvelous for Words" is accompanied by an animated sequence of a sperm in top hat serenading a glamorous egg.
It looks like a wonderful film, but parents should be alert that it could raise some questions about biology and reproduction. Be prepared to provide fuller explanations to your kids if these are topics you haven't discussed with them yet. (E.g., "Sperm don't really wear top hats, but sometimes they wear raincoats.")
For those looking for a way to explain those issues, however, the film could be just the help you need. It seems like the bulk of the film is rightly on the children and their family interactions, though, not on the mechanics of their origins.