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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Work, success, and career are important, but sometimes you have to lose them all before you realize that none of it's as important as the people in your life.
Positive Role Models
None of the main characters are particularly positive role models -- which is kind of the point. Jake is incredibly self-centered; his sister, Justine, is passive aggressive toward the boss she dislikes; and her husband, Danny, isn't as great a father and husband as he seems. But all of them eventually learn to be more giving toward others and make big decisions that show they're figuring out what's most important.
Violence & Scariness
A man talks about a prostitute falling and hitting her head, with bloody results, in front of a young child.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple kisses and caresses each other in bed; presumably they're either about to have sex or have just finished. No graphic nudity.
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Frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "pissed," and "d--k."
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Products & Purchases
Characters use iPhones. Other brands mentioned include Bravo TV (and its shows) and news website TechCrunch. Premise centers on an up-and-coming tech entrepreneur who loses everything after an investment falls through; he has to start over with no money.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink fairly frequently at bars and parties. Several scenes feature drugs, including a party where people do cocaine. A father likes to smoke pot at night after his young child goes to sleep. An adult makes a questionable decision about drinking while she's with a high school student.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adult Beginners is an indie dramedy that centers on a successful tech entrepreneur who's about to get rich -- but in the process has become a horrible person. Over the course of the story, he loses everything and starts to learn why personal relationships can be worth more than a successful IPO. So he's not exactly a positive role model, but he does grow and learn a few important lessons. Expect a fair bit of drinking (bars, parties, etc.), as well as drug use (both pot and cocaine) and frequent swearing (especially variants of "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as adults having inappropriate conversations in front of children and some kissing/implied sex. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It has a simple premise and a worthwhile lesson, but it's not especially original and doesn't try to distinguish itself from other dramedies in which a stuck-up jerk learns the importance of family. The saving grace is the cast -- the three main characters all work well together, especially Byrne as a bored spouse with an unsatisfying job and loads of pent-up resentment. Guest appearances by some crack comedians -- including Bobby Moynihan, Joel McHale, Jane Krakowski, and Josh Charles -- also liven up a film that's sorely in need of some momentum.
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.