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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Taking risks to achieve your goals -- though the main characters resort to force and break the law to do this. Staying true to yourself.
Positive Role Models
Chazz and Rex are passionate about the music but are also selfish and inconsiderate. Chazz avoids getting a day job, playing video games instead. Pip, the third member of their band, shows loyalty to them. The group also take the law into their own hands to get themselves noticed.
Some ethnic and gender diversity among the supporting cast. White character shown as well-intentioned but clumsy in their attempts to relate to black characters. Black characters talk about being ordered around at work by White colleagues. Male character in a position of power shows sexist, selfish attitude toward his colleagues. Female characters are frequently marginalized by their male counterparts. Character references Rodney King to stir up anti-police sentiment for their benefit.
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Violence & Scariness
Minor tussles, headbutt, kicks, objects thrown in domestic disputes. Characters fire replica guns and water pistols at each other. Characters accidentally hit in the face by door. Reference to molestation. Character grabbed and choked by a colleague, tied to a chair with stereo cables. Gunfire. Property damage and destruction as part of arguments and protest.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Characters are seen shirtless. Character strips down to their leotard. Joking reference to trying to impress young girls, breast implants, simulated sex with soft toys. Character poses provocatively in a bikini. Character tells a story about their ex-spouse having an affair. Characters request naked photos of a celebrity. Sex interrupted for comic effect. One character is shown in their underwear and another naked, but no graphic nudity depicted.
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Language used includes "nutbags," "bozos," "scumbag," "a--hole," "hell," "s--t," "butt," "apes--t," "bulls--t," "bitch," "dingus," "ass," "idiots," "p---y," "d--k," "nuts," "cracker," "goddammit," "dips--t," "retard," "bastard," "putze," "screwing," "piss," "spazz," "morons," and "crap." One use of "f--k." Homophobic slurs including "f--got" and "queens." Character flips their middle fingers and grabs their crotch at people.
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Products & Purchases
Characters dream of being famous, and try to get free merchandise and possessions. But they also offer to distribute their gains to others. Radio station manager tries to exploit a hostage situation for commercial gain. Other characters are motivated by money rather than the creative work of their colleagues.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character mixes their drinks, drinks beer during the day at work. Characters smoke. References to drugs. Crowds drink outside and become boisterous.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Airheads is a comedy with strong language -- including homophobic slurs -- and sexual references. A trio of failed rock musicians, led by Chazz (Brendan Fraser), break into a local radio station in an attempt to get their single played. While flawed, Chazz generally has good intentions, but his ambition does result in him mistreating his girlfriend. There is some gender and ethnic diversity, with White characters' misunderstanding of others lived experience generally played for comic effect, most notably by drummer Pip (Adam Sandler) as he attempts to relate to Black culture. During the band's eventual stand-off with the police there is some gunfire, but most of the violent incidents are played for laughs. A photo briefly shows someone posing in a thong bikini, while the one sex scene is neither graphic nor prolonged, with no explicit nudity. Language is fairly constant though, with one use of "f--k" and homophobic slurs including "f--got." The band dream of stardom and enjoy some material gain, but making music remains the most important thing to them, although others are shown as being much more cynical. Characters drink and smoke socially. While some crowd scenes are rowdy, no explicit drunkenness is shown. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A critical and commercial flop, this rock 'n' roll comedy nonetheless features a cast of comedic talent who between them have enough screen presence and comic timing to carry its so-so screenplay. Decades later, Airheads also ticks a few nostalgia boxes. Rock music fans are likely to get a kick out of cameos from everyone from Motorhead frontman Lemmy to Rob Zombie to Beavis and Butthead. Elsewhere, anyone who tuned into Saturday Night Live in the '90s is sure to remember the early promise shown by the likes of Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, both of whom appear in supporting roles here.
In the lead, Fraser manages to balance Chazz's earnestness and selfishness, showing the light and shade of creative people who are desperate to "make it." His sketched-in relationship with love-interest Kayla (Amy Locane) is one of several things that date Airheads. But this is a movie that's trying to have a good time more than anything else, and for the most part it manages to live out a playful night of wish fulfillment.
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.
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