Runs in the Family (2023)

Runs in the Family (2023)

Father and son bond through drag in this fun South African road trip



South Africa, Swaziland
Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Ace Bhatti, Gabe Gabriel, Khadija Heeger
107 min


Now… if only they knew how to handle Monica’s character better.

What it's about

After injury strikes his drag partner and best friend Ollie, trans man River goes on a road trip with his reformed grifter dad Varun to pick up his estranged mother from rehab, hoping to make it back home on time for the drag competition that could win him his gender-affirming surgery.

The take

There are a plethora of father-son road trips in film, but rarely portrayed on the path are fathers with their trans sons. That is because most queer stories often focus on the romance, and if not the romance, the coming out process. Runs in the Family does things differently – it’s the connection between trans drag performer River and his father Varun that lovingly stays the same. The easy, comforting dynamic between them is something that needed to be on screen, and it’s what makes the movie shine. While the film still showcases the extra hurdles society sets in front of them, and the way other people let them down because of discrimination, this father-son duo is the one thing they can depend upon. Runs in the Family is by no means perfect, but their natural father-son dynamic is something everyone needs to see.

What stands out

There are some parts that falter in Runs in the Family, but the aspect that makes the film work is the father-son relationship between River and Varun. As the father is usually the first male person a child meets, the father is his first model of masculinity, and it’s really affirming if they accept you as you are. What’s refreshing about this road trip film is that there’s no question as to whether or not this father-son connection would break after coming out. In fact, this connection is consistent, steady, and loving. It’s the one thing that doesn’t cause conflict. Runs in the Family portrays this relationship with a groundedness that naturally stems from the father-son collaboration between Ian and Gabe Gabriels, who serve as director and writer for the film.


Add a comment




My Name Is Loh Kiwan (2024)

Love enables survival in this moving drama about the refugee experience


Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama


Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time (2021)

A loving tribute to an American great, as well as a chronicle of a beautiful friendship


The Parades (2024)

Michihito Fujii reimagines a peaceful, communal afterlife in this slice-of-life supernatural drama


The Zone of Interest (2023)

A chilling and masterful display of the banality of evil


Monster (2023)

Remarkably sensitive and well-told, this twisty Japanese drama unveils layers upon layers of different truths


Thank You, I’m Sorry (2023)

Estranged sisters reconnect amidst grief and bizarre comedy in this understated Swedish drama


Leave the World Behind (2023)

Shyamalan meets Black Mirror in this hugely entertaining, visually inventive apocalyptic thriller with a killer ending


Last Call for Istanbul (2023)

A seemingly generic Turkish romance travel film, until it gets into its second half


Hail Satan? (2019)

Forget everything you think you know about the Satanic Temple


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.