I'm not sure if my unhappiness with Joshua is because I think the fact that the only character I empathized with was Joshua or if Joshua simply reminded me of old unhappinesses by presenting no characters other than Joshua I could empathize with.
As it goes, I've never been a parent, but my life has an enormous complication that generally allows me a good opening to relate to parent characters, but frankly not these ones, and I'm not sure why. I'm not sure if it was a failing in the movie in giving them qualities I could empathize with or if it was merely that any reminders of my childhood that go anywhere slightly below the surface fill me with such misery and rage that I'm unable to see past them.
Mind you, I didn't have an "unhappy" childhood in the sense people generally mean by the term. It was a perfectly average, middle class life. I went to good schools. My family took nice vacations to the mountains every year. I swam plenty and went to plenty of movies. My parents meant well, and most of the time did decently.
That said I so hated being a child. I didn't care much for other children, and I was utterly sickened and infuriated with the way nearly all adults treat children. I still am frankly. I think our societal training that children are somehow something less than fully a person, even if we'd never admit to it in those terms, is nothing short of deplorable, and is, in fact, a cancer slowly eating away at each new generation.
So, I guess I can't fault the movie for not making me think. Perhaps I just didn't want to think about the things it brings up for me.