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Keywords:

  • Marriage;
  • divorce;
  • child custody;
  • adoption;
  • film;
  • movies;
  • cinema

This article critiques Hollywood films from the last last 20–30 years that relate to family law. More specifically, this article considers films involving marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption and focuses on the portrayal of law in those films. While the films are not tightly connected to one another and surely do not share a unified theme, the films do share a surprising skepticism bordering on distrust regarding law, legal procedures, and legal institutions. Hollywood appears to have picked up a general sentiment that family should be a private, intimate sanctuary and is better off without state intrusion through law. The films incorporate this sentiment and also reinforce it by teaching viewers to be leery of law in family matters.

Key Points for the Family Court Community:

  • 1
    Recent Hollywood films include not only abundant portrayals of family life but also numerous examples of family law.
  • 2
    As a result, these Hollywood films have the potential to educate viewers about family law and to prompt certain normative attitudes about family law.
  • 3
    In general, Hollywood films invite viewers to be skeptical and even disdainful of family law.