I'm not sure if the McKerrow family is unhappy, but they are unique.
The McKerrows were the all-American, 1980s family - a physician father, teacher mother, and three sons living in the all-American city of Helena, Montana. Todd McKerrow was the star of the family - the blonde high school quarterback who seemed destined to follow the conventional path to success when he finished high school in 1985.
The family's story is much more complicated than that, however. At the beginning of the film, viewers see Todd returning for a high school reunion; only Todd has undergone gender reassignment and has become Kimberly Reed. Also attending the reunion is Kimberly's older brother, Marc.
The reunion is the film's focus at first, then, surprisingly, the focus shifts to Marc. Marc was adopted by the McKerrows and he longs to know more about his biological family. Once Marc starts searching for his family, the story has an incredible plot twist. Also, Marc suffers from mental illness and the film includes many graphic scenes illustrating both Marc's problems and his family's attempts to help him.
In simplest terms, Prodigal Sons is about a family struggling to be happy. The McKerrows are all decent people and it is easy for the viewer to cheer for them. Though the film is complex and offers no easy answers, it is always compelling due to its amazing storyline.
At the start, I had modest expectations for Prodigal Sons. There have been so many documentaries that explore gender and sexuality that I thought that the film might seem tired and unoriginal. Happily, I was wrong. Prodigal Sons is amazing - don't miss it.