A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Scenes with gun, dog attacks character, dog gets shot, car crash, threats.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extensive and fairly explicit references, including adultery.
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Frequent strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Extensive, including drinking as a response to stress.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has drug and alcohol abuse, adultery, homosexual and heterosexual references (including a transvestite character), references to suicide, and very strong language. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie has a lot in common with its main character: Both are shambling and directionless, with a literary gloss and great deal of charm and intelligence. And both need all of that to be forgiven for their many failings. Tripp is in something of a stupor, not just from alcohol and drugs, but from success, and failure. He still has James' passion for writing, but he no longer has the innocence and sense of possibilities to "make the choices" necessary. When he says, "Sometimes people just need to be rescued," he is talking about himself as much as James.
This grand mess of a movie has many pleasures, including a terrific soundtrack, marvelous performances, and a beguiling but highly improbable ending. Tripp's colleague says that everyone has a story. What gets you from there to writing? He mentions faith, and Tripp mentions keeping at it. One reason is that stories like this one, highly imperfect but worthwhile, are what help us get to the ones that really make it all the way there.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.