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Parents' Guide to

Ask Dr. Ruth

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Docu about famous therapist has sex talk, cursing.

Movie NR 2019 100 minutes
Ask Dr. Ruth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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One can't help but love a grandmother who's out there stumping for universal pleasure, and there's plenty of that in this film. "Don't just sit and suffer," Dr. Ruth exhorts. "Don't fake it. Do something about it!" In the 1980s, when she first started publicly offering solutions to people's sexual woes, her advice was startling and embarrassing to some, but Ask Dr. Ruth reports how often she hears from fans who credit her with "saving" their lives, marriages, and self-esteem.

Although she tells Gloria Steinem that the feminist's pioneering work "allowed people like myself to talk," Ruth's daughter and granddaughter still wrestle with Ruth's refusal to call herself a feminist because she takes issue with radical stridency and mythical "bra burning." She wants men and women, gay, straight, trans, to stand up for their rights to be healthy, happy sexual beings in a society that has long kept sex, female desire, homosexuality, and gender otherness under wraps. "Give her an orgasm!" she advises one puzzled guy. "If you don't know how to do that, I'll teach you."

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: May 3, 2019
  • Director: Ryan White
  • Studio: Hulu
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: February 27, 2022

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