A Kid Like Jake (2018)
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It's a daring premise, which makes Howard's fluffy approach to the material all the more frustrating.
But the filmmakers seem to hold back from other confrontations, and their subplots involving the boy's pushy grandmother (the great Ann Dowd) and a brittle client (Amy Landecker) of the therapist father ultimately fizzle.
The movie's premise sounds like it should be the basis for a barbed satire of the finest proportions. Instead, it opts for a tone that is decidedly sober and lacking any kind of sharp edge.
Some of this material is too sensitive, granted, to have a very young actor play it. But "Jake" goes too far the other way, giving us only glimpses of the boy, who emerges as more of a symbol than a real child.
It's like the Alex-and-Greg of woke-era problem pictures: bright, earnest and compassionate, if maybe just a little too much in its own head.
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