A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Addicted to Fresno is a dark comedy that tries to mine laughs from sex addiction, murder, and stealing from children. The main character talks about sex all the time, and she'll sneak away for furtive encounters with almost anyone who'll have her -- though there's little actual nudity, and her encounters don't look especially sexy. Unsurprisingly, there are also tons of sexual references and lots of swearing (including "s--t," "f--k," and some graphic discussions about oral sex), as well as social drinking and a character who smokes cigarettes throughout the film. A scuffle leads to an accidental death and a dead body being schlepped around, and sex toys show up as unusual props in several scenes.
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What's the story?
Fresh out of rehab, sex addict Shannon (Judy Greer) is back home in Fresno, Calif., where she gets a job working alongside her sister, Martha (Natasha Lyonne), cleaning rooms at a hotel. But old habits are hard to break, and a random hook-up with a a guest results in a tragic accident that leaves the man dead and the two sisters looking for a way to get rid of the body. That leads to a string of ill-fated incidents -- including visits to a sex-toy emporium, a bar mitzvah, and a funeral home for pets -- as the sisters' predicament gets more and more complicated and their relationship becomes more and more tense.
Is it any good?
ADDICTED TO FRESNO is a waste of Greer's talents; she tries her best but fails to rescue this woeful movie. At its center are its attempts to extract laughs from Shannon's awfulness and the mishap the sisters find themselves in, but viewers just aren't likely to buy it. The crime that drives the plot is too awful for words, and the tone is all over the place. Put simply, it's off-putting. Greer and Lyonne are a watchable pair -- in fact, they and the rest of the ensemble are probably the only reason anyone would watch this movie. But, sadly, there's nothing addictive here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Addicted to Fresno handles the topic of sex. What role does it play in the characters' lives? Do you think their attitudes toward the topic are healthy?
Are any of the characters in the movie role models? Why or why not?
Why do you think Shannon and Martha are so different? How did their shared experiences growing up shape them so differently?
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