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Parents' Guide to

Sleepless in Seattle

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Romantic '90s fairy tale has some cursing, sex.

Movie PG 1993 100 minutes
Sleepless in Seattle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 12+

Funny, one of the best movies romances for pre-teens and up only

Re-watched this the other night for the first time in years and it was my girlfriend's first time seeing it. We both loved it and laughed a lot. However with that being said there are some iffy things in this movie that almost come close to pushing the limits of the PG rating. Sure, there are many romantic comedies out there with far more risque content than this, but if you are thinking of this for a family movie night either watch it with a filter or without a filter only if you have kids 12 and up. There is some talk about sex including Tom Hanks' son asking him if he wants a wife to have sex with her and will she "scratch his back." When Hanks asks his son where he heard it, he mentioned one of his friends had cable, and that is where he picked it up from. Additionally Hanks' son calls a woman he is dating a "ho" and although it is rather innocently said he repeats the phrase a few times and later on Meg Ryan's character makes the same comment. Hanks later remarks how he got "laid 7 or 8 times in college" unaware his son has walked in the room and can hear what he said. There is also mention of an orgasm in an excerpt from a radio program, and although there is no sexual intercourse Meg Ryan and her fiancee played by Bill Pullman are seen in bed together. Even though they are both fully clothed, this movie sends a message that it is ok to sleep with your significant other before marriage. Swearing is very minimal. I only counted one g-----n" and two "s---s" which is totally acceptable for the PG rating but more of the talks of sex and implied pre-marital sex make this inappropriate for anyone under 12. On the reverse side however this movie has two of the most likeable characters in a romantic movie and even though the ending may be predictable it is exactly what we are rooting for. Additionally Hanks' son shows some signs of being a good and bad role model. He is good as he is constantly looking out for his dad's best interest, after all that is really what sets the whole story in motion to begin with. But he also has a bad role model quality by flying off to New York City by himself against his dads wishes and without even letting his dad know. So that could communicate a message to children that it is ok to disobey your parents, although Hanks does reprimand his son with love, patience and honesty for it, making him a good role model and father. This is probably one of (if not the very) best movies to stay at home and watch with your significant other and for families with pre-teenagers it is ok for family movie night, but younger children are not likely to understand the humor or themes, and the sexual remarks and implied pre-marital sex make this an inappropriate choice for them.
age 14+

A little risqué for a PG rating.

I watched this movie with my mom and I was shocked at how much sexual innuendo and references were in it. The fact that it's PG really angers me because of the heavy sex-related dialogue. Definitely not for children strictly for teens and adults mostly 14+.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (11 ):

This is a throwback to the great romantic comedies of the '30s and '40s. It's well written if a tad implausible: a fairy tale that encourages viewers to believe that true love and destiny will conquer all obstacles. Sleepless in Seattle's structure is a little frustrating; the two main characters spend almost the entire film apart. In less skilled hands, their separate stories could have fallen flat, but first-time director Nora Ephron manages to pull it off.

Great casting helps. Tom Hanks has never been more appealing and vulnerable, and Meg Ryan is the embodiment of impetuous romance. Rosie O'Donnell and Rob Reiner inject some tart humor as their sidekicks, making sure the story never becomes overly sentimental. There aren't many movies that parents can watch with older kids; this is one of the rare exceptions. Adults will enjoy the star-crossed romance, and kids will respond to Jonah's predicament. They'll also like the interactions between Jonah and his friend Jessica, a wise and very sarcastic little girl.

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