‘All Aboard’ For Family Values

All Aboard Rosie's Family Cruise

We’ve gotten a few letters over the last month from folks who feel that we new Queerty editors are a bunch of stone cold bitches/a posse of Negative Nancies/a couple of stubborn queer princesses. Well today we’re going to show our softer side by admitting something potentially humiliating: this weekend we saw and enjoyed All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise.

While flipping channels looking for one of those mean British “what were you thinking when you decorated this house?” home improvement shows, we stumbled upon Rosie O’Donnell‘s new movie, and started watching purely for its trainwreck value. As we sat tersely nibbling some tortilla chips and waiting for the first mockworthy moments, we didn’t even notice the minutes ticking by. Soon we had been watching a half hour.

Review continued after the jump.

The group of gay families on board the cruiseship was one of the most diverse we had ever seen. It dawned on us quickly that this was because many of the children had been adopted from overseas or from poor minority families.

Gay adoption is Rosie O’Donnell’s pet issue, herself the mother of four adopted children. She makes the point repeatedly during her film that anti-gay-adoption laws are preventing so many children in need from being adopted into loving families. And love is the word of the day on Rosie’s Family Cruise. A pretty low-budget affair, the meat of the film is the interviews with parents and their children. Some of the stories we had heard before (e.g., I love my mom and her girlfriend so much that I cried when I reached puberty and realized I was straighjt), but we happily listened to them again because we had already become interested in these families.

There were a couple of gay weddings-at-sea: one gay couple with five kids, and another lesbian couple. As we watched each one, so many cliches abounded, but something continued to pull our heartstrings. It could be that we were on our period, but we blame something more insidious: sincerity. When used for the sake of something so simple and fundamental as the right to be a family (as opposed to bad poetry), sincerity can be a powerful and affecting thing, and the barebones nature of Rosie’s documentary lets it shine through.

Our one criticism of the film would be the extensive footage of the dreadful onboard entertainment, which consisted of bad lesbian comedy and showtunes performed very poorly by super-tan homo tooth-whitener models. Even Rosie was shown frowning a couple times in the audience, especially when this one comedienne started telling fat jokes.

All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise is not a masterful piece of documentary filmmaking, but its humble approach succeeds in giving us a glimpse at something that many Americans (gay and straight) are skeptical is even possible: happy gay families. Despite how much everyone likes to make fun of Rosie, we think her film is important and relevant, and we’re not embarassed to say that it moved us.

All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise [Official Site]