As we reflect on memories of Thanksgiving gatherings, this beautifully-rendered film adaptation of a Tony Award-winning play reminds us why families need honest conversation. “The Humans” is a meticulous and meaningful movie that strengthens the impact of the stage original by rethinking its storytelling for the screen. The result is a most satisfying translation of a theatrical experience.
Film Summary: The Humans
Content: High. Family members long to be heard as they share a Thanksgiving meal filled with all the emotional trimmings.
Entertainment: High. As serious as the relationships in the film, playwright, adapter and director Stephen Karam hits all the right notes in a stunning recreation of his stage hit.
Message: High. No matter the film takes place in one day in one place, it reaches all the destinations this family may need to visit.
Relevance: High. Any opportunity to examine what it takes to discover and reveal truth makes a visit to the movies worthwhile.
Opportunity for Dialogue: High. After you share this film with your older children, talk about what truth can mean to our efforts to absorb change in our lives.
“The Humans” works on screen because playwright, adapter and director Stephen Karam doesn’t try to recreate what worked in live performance. Here is a film adaptation that never feels bound by its stage origins and does not feel compelled to artificially move the action outside the primary setting for conversation. Instead Karam beautifully creates a sense of people trapped inside an emotional ghetto where feelings must be expressed. And we get to spend 108 minutes with a fascinating family struggling to find the words to express how they care.