SKEPTICISM BORDERING ON DISTRUST: FAMILY LAW IN THE HOLLYWOOD CINEMA
Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2012
© 2012 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Family Court Review
Volume 50, Issue 1, pages 13–22, January 2012
How to Cite
Papke, D. R. (2012), SKEPTICISM BORDERING ON DISTRUST: FAMILY LAW IN THE HOLLYWOOD CINEMA. Family Court Review, 50: 13–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-1617.2011.01424.x
- Issue online: 30 JAN 2012
- Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2012
- child custody;
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:
- 1Recent Hollywood films include not only abundant portrayals of family life but also numerous examples of family law.
- 2As a result, these Hollywood films have the potential to educate viewers about family law and to prompt certain normative attitudes about family law.
- 3In general, Hollywood films invite viewers to be skeptical and even disdainful of family law.