Always Woodstock

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Always Woodstock Movie Poster Image
Listless romcom has flat characters, drinking.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Illustrates the value of remaining true to yourself -- as well as the importance of good, loyal friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character refuses to give up on her dreams or to sell out and compromise her art.


Some bickering between couples and friends.


Several scenes show people kissing, getting partially undressed, and having sex under the covers. Motion and sounds, but no actual nudity. 


Strong but relatively infrequent language includes "f--k" and "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink frequently at bars, parties, and other social events. The main character gets extremely drunk at one point and even passes out.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Always Woodstock is about a city girl who returns to her childhood home in Woodstock to pursue her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. Along the way, she has to learn a few important life lessons and figure out who she is -- with a little help from her friends, naturally. That sometimes involves heavy drinking; on one occasion, she gets so wasted that she passes out. There's also some swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t") and several scenes that feature people kissing and fooling around, though no nudity.

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What's the story?

On the same day, Catherine (Allison Miller) gets fired from her job at a New York record label and finds out that her fiance is cheating on her. All she can think to do is retreat from the city and from her life, so she returns to her childhood home in Woodstock, where her dream of becoming a singer and songwriter is re-ignited. Along the way, she manages to enlist a reclusive musician (Katey Sagal) to help her hone her craft. She also finds herself falling for a local doctor (James Wolk). But the city calls just hours away, with a recording contract possibly within reach, and her chastened fiance again available. What to do?

Is it any good?

This movie isn't all that entertaining, despite the plot's potential and the work of the great Katey SagalALWAYS WOODSTOCK is about making choices, and even though Catherine seems to make a lot of iffy ones, everything keeps getting better and better for her. Get plastered? Not to worry: A gorgeous and kind doctor will end up being the one tending to you. No job when you move back into your hometown? All the right connections are apparently just waiting to enfold you into their embrace.

Don't even try to figure out how Catherine convinces herself that her new boyfriend is cheating or why she decides to dump him without asking about it. Or why the good doctor and she are even attracted to each other, given their tepid chemistry and thin storyline. In short, Always Woodstock isn't very believable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Always Woodstock depicts drinking. Are there realistic consequences? Why does Catherine drink?

  • Why do Catherine and Noah fall for each other? What kind of impression does she make at first?

  • How does getting fired turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Catherine? Why is she tempted to go back to the same company that fired her? Would that be a good decision?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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