A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Establishes that, despite challenges, people on the autism spectrum can forge meaningful, productive lives. Provides an insightful look at four young adults with Asperger's Syndrome: their strengths, limits, and the singular behavior of each of them. Confirms that each is unique and forges his/her own path.
Positive Role Models
Four central characters' ability to maintain friendships, focus on tasks, control behavior, deal with and transcend limitations is highlighted. Each exhibits unique mechanisms that enable them to succeed. These young adults exceed general audience expectations. Limited appearances of some of the parents show them to be supportive, loving, and trying hard to understand their kids. No ethnic diversity.
Occasional profanity and cursing: "s--t," "kick-ass," "hell," "phallus," "f--k, you guys," "ass," "pissed off," "c--k-blocking." References to farting, women menstruating.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Asperger's Are Us is a documentary that follows four young adult men (late teens and early twenties) with Asperger's Syndrome as they work together over several months to prepare a comedy show. Asperger's is defined as a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. Those with Asperger's ("Aspies" as the oldest of the group often calls them) often exhibit above average intelligence in tandem with impaired social skills and repetitive, restrictive behaviors and interests. This film provides an insightful look at these complex, interesting, and likeable folks as they interact. Some swearing and profanities are sprinkled throughout (i.e., "pissed off," "s--t," "ass-tingled," "phallus," and one "f--k, you guys.") Because Asperger's is no longer a little known or documented syndrome (U.S. estimates in 2016 are 1 in 68 births), its existence seems to touch everyone. Teens and up will gain insights into those diagnosed with Asperger's. As with other challenging concepts, a movie like this one provides an up-close-and-personal look at those who might seem different but really are very similar to most of us. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An earnest effort to portray the challenges and successes of those with Asperger's Syndrome, this compelling film introduces four young men who shine as they struggle with their uniqueness. And, it's clear that they're alike, but not at all the same. Asperger's Are Us substantiates the range and depth of their friendships, and the fact that their shared goals are keys to their continuing maturation. They gain confidence, acceptance, inspiration, and positive feelings about themselves from one another, and that's what partially makes the film so endearing. By the end of the film, audiences will be heartened to note how far these young men have come, and, as important, how far their singular paths will hopefully lead them. Some tedious and/or repetitive sequences are only minor flaws in an otherwise solid movie. And, what audiences think of the actual comedy performed in the movie is beside the point. Best for mature teens, the film has the capacity to elicit empathy and understanding for a growing segment of the population.
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