Mary had a son named Bobby. Mary is a thoughtful woman who struggles between her son's homosexuality and her own rigid understanding of the Christian Bible. Her rigidity regarding her understanding of the Christian Bible gets injected into her concern for the "intactness" of her family in the hereafter. Bobby embarks on a urban gay life. He finds a boyfriend and is able to create a counterpoint to his mother's rigidity. However, when he learns that his boyfriend is not the "committed" type, the tension snaps back like a rubberband and Bobby kills himself.
We return to Mary, who is confronted with the rigidity of her thinking when she realizes at the death of her son, that under her rigid thinking, Bobby would not "be in heaven" with the rest of the family violating the 'higher' principle of keeping her family intact. The movie is about Mary's conflict -- not really Bobby's. This movie is about Mary, not Bobby. And this is why Sigourney Weaver can thank the writers of this movie where Vilma cannot for In This Life. There was no psychological tension for Vilma -- just the shame of having a gay son and simply tolerating it.
The struggle and development of Mary's character is so profound and deep that every parent should watch this. And so should every child.