A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the movie's "stalking" theme is obviously negative, the movie's resolution makes it clear that if you have to stalk someone you love, they don't really love you. The fact that Steve is less interested in Mary after discovering how "book smart" she is also sends an iffy message.
Positive Role Models
Ultimately, Mary realizes that she shouldn't have to change who she is for a man (she doesn't dumb down her behavior or change to be less quirky), but none of the characters is really a role model. Mary is a workaholic who transforms into an unprofessional, obsessed stalker. Steve is only too happy to sleep with a woman he hasn't said two words (until she proves herself too "crazy smart," that is). The news reporters are only interested in ratings and beating their colleagues to juicy stories. Mary's brand-new friends are sweet, but the woman in particular seems ignorant.
Violence & Scariness
A group of schoolchildren falls into a hidden mineshaft; later, a couple of main characters fall in, too. A tornado lifts up a car that a few characters just ran away from, and there are a few funny pratfalls by Mary and Steve.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mary basically attacks Steve during their first date. She and Steve are shown shirtless (she's wearing a bra) and make overt sexual references/gestures while making out as they're lying down in the backseat of a car. Although it's technically not a sex scene, the foreplay includes a few verbally explicit moments. Aside from that one scene, there are many conversations about romantic relationships and sexual comments and innuendo.
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Language includes "s--t," "a--hole," and "p---y," as well as "crap," "dumbass," "Christ!" and tamer words like "damn," "hell," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Surprisingly few product placements, but there are a couple, including Twinkies.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer with meals in a couple of quick scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this offbeat comedy includes some sexual content (Sandra Bullock strips down to her bra, and Bradley Cooper is shirtless in the film's one love scene), as well as humorous but continuous references to sex, dating, and unrequited, obsessive infatuation (i.e. stalking). Language includes frequent use of words like "s--t" and "a--hole," and there's a brief glimpse of adults drinking beer with meals. There's a little bit of mild peril when characters get stuck in potentially dangerous situations, as well as a few cartoonish pratfalls. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Without denying the considerable comic talent of Bullock and Cooper (for proof, see their far better comedies The Proposal and The Hangover), this film is neither funny nor romantic. Instead of seeming nerdy cute like so many male protagonists in romantic comedies, Mary just seems stunted and desperate. It's disingenuous to believe that a walking encyclopedia who loves words so much would be so shallow. One meaningless tussle in the back of a car does not a romance make.
Bullock, so charming even in her lesser films, can't save this nearly unwatchable mess. Cooper does his best acting either put-upon or crazed, and Church earns the movie an extra star for actually eliciting a few laughs. His ambitious, arrogant reporter is a caricature, sure, but he's a welcome break from the train wreck that is Mary and Steve.
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.