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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Abe is about a 12-year-old Brooklyn boy named Abe (Noah Schnapp) who's both Palestinian and Jewish. It has positive messages about hard work, perseverance, and togetherness. And there are a lot of positive role models for a wide range of cultures and ethnicities. Kids will learn about food and what makes certain combinations work, and they'll also be exposed to big political/historical topics like cultural appropriation, the Holocaust, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and more. Expect some strong language, including "s--t," "ass," "crap," and the Portuguese curse "filho da puta," which isn't translated. The death of a grandparent isn't shown or dealt with in depth, but there's brief sadness. Abe sips wine a couple of times at family meals. His frequent use of social media includes brief instances of trolling, which he takes in stride.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
ABE (Noah Schnapp) is a 12-year-old boy living in Brooklyn who loves food and loves to cook. But with Palestinian heritage on one side of the family and Jewish heritage on the other, family meals mostly descend into arguments and bitter feelings on both sides. Abe wants to find a way to bring the two sides together, and when he discovers fusion cooking, he thinks he's found a way to do just that. He starts training with a popular Brooklyn chef (Seu Jorge), which exposes him to a vast, new world of culinary arts. Unfortunately, he hides what he's doing from his parents by ditching the day camp he's supposed to attend. And when they find out what's been going on, it looks like Abe's dream of finally bringing the family together could be in danger.
Is it any good?
You don't have to be a gourmet to appreciate all the lovely images of food, from preparation to presentation, that are the backbone of this gentle story about a boy bringing family together. Abe is bound to make your mouth water whatever level of interest you have in the culinary arts. Served up alongside Abe's love of food is a gentle, low-key story that kids and families of all kinds will relate to. Some of the acting and the script are a bit stilted, but Noah Schnapp is an engaging presence on screen, and Seu Jorge is wonderful as a solid rock to lean on.
Abe may inspire some kids to get into the kitchen themselves. It's also a good opportunity to learn about the history of conflict between Israel and Palestine, and a nice reminder of how families should lift one another up instead of tearing each other down. Brief strong language makes it best for tweens and up, but it's otherwise a pleasant way for families to enjoy some togetherness.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the strong language in Abe. Is it realistic? Does that matter? Is it a big deal? Why or why not?
What kind of effect do the family arguments have on Abe? How do you feel when you hear others argue? How do you resolve things when you disagree with someone?
Do you like to cook? If you never have, would you like to try? What foods did you see in the movie that you'd like to make?
What character strengths does the movie celebrate? Are there any role models?
- On DVD or streaming: June 2, 2020
- Cast: Dagmara Dominczyk, Noah Schnapp, Mark Margolis, Seu Jorge
- Director: Fernando Grostein Andrade
- Studio: Blue Fox Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Cooking and Baking
- Character strengths: Perseverance
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: June 2, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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