Rachel Dretzin adapts the non-fiction book by Andrew Solomon in a way that comes perilously close to ignoring the source material’s compelling premise. Inspired by his own experience with parents who struggled to accept his homosexuality, Solomon explored how parents dealt with children who turn out far different than they expected. Dretzin follows several families facing such challenges—Down syndrome, autism, dwarfism, even a son who commits murder—while also circling back to Solomon’s own story. The stories provide unique perspectives on how diagnoses fraught with initial heartbreak evolve as the child does, yet the focus on how the children can live happy lives often steers the emphasis away from how their parents adjust and cope with guilt, anger and fear. There are valuable lessons here about societal expectations for “normalcy”—as Solomon puts it at one point, deciding “what to cure, and what to celebrate”—but the film is never more compelling than when its subject is a mother awakening to the mind trapped in her son’s autistic body, or parents grappling with how the smiling child in family pictures could become a killer.