All We Had

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
All We Had Movie Poster Image
Well-acted but listless mom-daughter drama has drinking.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 86 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Even when times are tough, having a family member at your side can give you the motivation to keep going. But that doesn't mean you should take the relationship for granted -- it's still important to keep track of how loved ones are doing and when they might need an emotional boost.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rita and Ruthie, a single mom and her teenage daughter, need each other. Their relationship is loving and caring, though sometimes also contentious; it shows two people who care deeply for one another.

Violence

A woman is almost raped in a parking lot by a group of men, but they're chased off by a nervous teen girl who shakily wields a handgun. Yelling and arguing between a mother and her teen daughter.

Sex

Several scenes show couples fooling around in places like dimly lit rooms and parked cars, so there's no visible nudity. Teens kiss at a party. A woman is briefly seen in her bra while changing. A desperate woman propositions a mechanic, offering "special services" in exchange for an expensive, much-needed car repair (once he figures out what's actually being suggested, he nervously declines and tries to give her the best rate he can afford).

Language

A fair bit of swearing, especially "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A woman seems to have a drinking problem; after a few scenes show her getting drunk, she starts attending AA meetings. She also smokes often, and her teenage daughter, trying to appear cool to the kids at school, starts stealing her cigarettes. Teens are at a party with underage drinking; one character drives home after several drinks.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All We Had focuses on the relationship between a single mom (Katie Holmes, who also directs) and her teenage daughter (Stefania Owen). They're desperately broke and end up working together in a small-town diner while trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis that devastated rural towns across the country, the movie includes a fair bit swearing ("f--k," "s--t," etc.), as well as smoking and drinking -- including by teenagers. There's a gradual realization that a main character has a drinking problem; she attends AA meetings. Several scenes show people kissing/fooling around, but there's no graphic nudity. A woman is almost raped in a parking lot by a group of men, but they're chased off.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byVirginia T. August 16, 2017

ALL WE HAD

I would like my teen granddaughters to see it. Yes there is swearing (out of frustration) drinking (shown in a negative way) and sex (because of fear of being... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In ALL WE HAD, Rita (Katie Holmes) is a single mom who seems to bounce from one bad boyfriend to another, eventually skipping town when the relationship has run its course -- always with her teenage daughter, Ruthie (Stefania Owen), in tow. Broke, they end up stuck in a small town after trying to skip out on the check at a diner, only to see their car finally break down. It's a sign, perhaps, and Rita ends up landing a job at the diner after she offers a heartfelt apology to the owner (Richard Kind). It might finally be time for the two of them to put down some roots, but not everything goes smoothly.

Is it any good?

This mother-daughter drama marks Holmes' directing debut, and while it has strong performances, it limps along with no clear destination. Owen, as well as Eve Lindley as a diner co-worker and Luke Wilson as a semi-regular customer, all work well together on the screen, and the characters' budding friendships seem real and appealing. But that's about it. We see the mother-daughter bond evolve, but neither of the main characters seems to grow much. They're much the same at the end of the movie as they were at the start.

The movie's moments are stitched together with a plodding voiceover that has plenty of detail but little that drums up excitement. While viewers might like Ruthie, there's not much reason to get invested in her character, and there are lots of reasons to be skeptical about Rita's abilities. Holmes does a fine job portraying the flighty, self-indulgent mother, but acting alone can't make All We Had a compelling film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how All We Had treats drinking/alcoholism. Does it seem realistic? What are the consequences?

  • How does this movie compare to other films about single moms looking for a better life for them and their children? Why do you think this theme is especially common in movies about mothers and daughters?

  • Does Rita and Ruthie's relationship seem realistic? Does their connection feel authentic?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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