Anywhere but Here



Solid story of independence for teens.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Emotional tension, sad death.


Some explicit references, teen sex.


Most characters swear a lot.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of social drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie deals with parent-teen relationships, sex, and issues of single motherhood.

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

Adele (Susan Sarandon), a free-spirited teacher, takes her 14-year-old daughter Ann (Natalie Portman) to Los Angeles in a gold-colored Mercedes. Ann resents her mother for taking her away from everything she knows, and she misses her family and friends in Wisconsin. Adele dreams of a more glamorous life and wider opportunities for Ann. They struggle with each other and take care of each other until Ann leaves for college. Once Ann is ready to be on her own, she can admit to herself and to Adele how much she loves her.

Is it any good?


Adolescence begins with an avalanche of mortifying self-awareness. All of a sudden, everything is embarrassing, especially parents, in whose eyes teens can see their past more easily than their future. ANYWHERE BUT HERE does a good job of portraying that stage of life from both the teen's and the parent's perspectives. Adele's relish for more than she can find in Wisconsin is unsettling to Anne. Adele says, "I wish someone had kidnapped me back when I was your age," and Ann responds, "So do I!"

Throughout the movie, Ann and Adele do a sort of relationship minuet, stepping toward each other, and then away. Ann imitates Adele in an acting audition, and Adele sees that she appears self-deluding and foolish to her daughter. Adele often acts more like Ann's sister or even daughter than her mother. But when she needs to be the adult, to make the sacrifices necessary to help her child, she comes through.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Ann's decision to have sex with a boy who has a crush on her, which is more a reaction to a cool reception from the father who abandoned her than a reflection of a mature and intimate relationship. When she invites him over and tells him to take off his clothes, her words are tough, even cold, but when he walks over to her she throws her arms around him and holds him as though she is desperate for human contact.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 12, 1999
DVD release date:August 27, 2002
Cast:Hart Bochner, Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon
Director:Wayne Wang
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and sexual references

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 12 year old Written bymamafatness March 7, 2014

Great Movie

Great Movie! There are no sexual intercourses although there are implacations about sex,In one scene Adele (The Mother) asks if Ann (Her Daughter) if shes been having sex.Then in another scene Ann has a boy come over and tells him to take everything but his underwear off, sex is implied but not shown.The movie has som good messages but not very much positive role models. This is the plot of the movie. When living in Beverly Hills, Adele improvises from day to day, often unable to pay the bills. She wants her daughter to become an actress, but Ann is much more interested in going away to Brown University. After Adele fails in many respects, she accepts her daughter's plans and decides to help her. Anns Plans are obviously to get away from her mother.Ann still loves her mother and soon realizes that her mother would do anything for her. I rate this iffy for 12 and under because of the things that are implied This is from a christian perspective if that helps Great Messages, A Little Too Much Sex Implied for Younger Children Although Younger Children May Not Notice / Understand. 13 And Up
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex


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