Bad Therapy

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Bad Therapy Movie Poster Image
Flat comedy-thriller has sex, cursing, iffy messages.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
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

It's easy to forget how much someone means to you until they're gone. Even when someone's made mistakes and is flawed you keep loving them (love conquers all). Iffy messages about women and marriage include a character who insists that the man is responsible for making the money; another who casually considers a sexual harassment lawsuit for a consensual affair while coming on to another coworker; an unstable villain who undermines a marriage because she can't contain her attraction to the husband; and a husband whose infidelity is glossed over because he couldn't help himself when he was seduced.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Protagonists Bob, Susan, and Louise model a loving, caring blended family, but they're all flawed in various ways and all make mistakes, some of the worst without consequences. A wide range of skin tones is represented in the supporting cast and background characters, although the main characters are all white.

Violence

An adult threatens a middle schooler by slashing across the child's cheek with a permanent marker; there's no injury besides the mark itself. A fight includes a punch in the face and biting. A character threatens to kill another with a kitchen knife. A character contemplates suicide briefly. A character is chloroformed, gagged, and tied up.

Sex

A woman unbuttons a blindfolded man's shirt, caresses his chest, licks the top of his head, and straddles him on a couch; later a "blow job" is referred to. A middle schooler walks in on the scene and screams; nothing is shown on camera. A dream being retold mentions undressing and taking a woman's bra off. A married couple kiss several times and say they have just enough time before their daughter gets home. A middle schooler is seen around the house in her underwear; later there's some implications of her stepfather looking at her and "thinking about her that way."

Language

"S--t," "f--king," "motherf--king," "asshole," "blow job," and the middle-finger gesture.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A pregnant woman holds champagne at a party, drinks amber liquid in a glass, and takes tranquilizers. After several martinis in a bar a man is beyond tipsy and drives. A shelf in a home has many liquor bottles. A man in a motel with lots of mini bottles of liquor passes out. A man has a bottle of beer at home around dinner time.  A woman takes unspecified tranquilizers and acts and dances wildly at a party. Middle-school girls vape marijuana and act giggly and stoned; the only consequence is that the sleepover ends. A character is chloroformed, gagged, and tied up.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bad Therapy is a comedy-thriller that's not particularly violent but has lots of iffy behavior. Middle schoolers vape marijuana and get caught, but there aren't any consequences. There's drunk driving and a pregnant woman who drinks and takes tranquilizers. A woman unbuttons a man's shirt, caresses and straddles him, and later a "blow job" is mentioned. Marital infidelity gets a strong reaction at first, but ultimately everything goes back to normal without much discussion. A middle schooler is seen around the house in her underwear; later there's some implications of her stepfather looking at her and "thinking about her that way." Strong language isn't frequent but includes "s--t," "motherf--ker," and "a--hole." An adult threatens a middle schooler by slashing her cheek with a permanent marker. Otherwise violence includes a punch in the face, kidnapping, threatening with a knife, and biting. A character is chloroformed, gagged, and tied up. There aren't any very good role models, but a variety of skin tones and ethnicities are represented in the supporting and background cast. Positive messages are weak, and iffy messages, especially about women, are plentiful.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLungelo Cliff February 1, 2021

I really enjoyed the movie

Even though I didn't get the thriller vibe in it but the actors do a great job and they fit in with the characters they play. Great movie

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

What's the story?

Bob (Rob Corddry) and Susan (Alicia Silverstone) get some BAD THERAPY when they start seeing a marriage counselor (Michaela Watkins). Bob's pretty happy with his life as it is. He loves his wife and stepdaughter, and he genuinely enjoys his job, even if he wishes the pay were better. Susan, on the other hand, can't stand her job, and feels like she needs a change. Susan's friend (Aisha Tyler) recommends counseling, so off they go. Before long things with the marriage counselor start to seem a little odd. And they only get odder with each visit. Little could Bob and Susan imagine how far off the rails things could go.

Is it any good?

Unfortunately this movie, despite its talented cast of comedy veterans, falls short in both the comedy and the thriller departments. As a comedy, none of the main characters seem able to take their performances over the top enough to really land any laughs, which in fairness to them is probably because the script is pretty weak. (Aisha Tyler and couple of very minor characters nail it, though.) As for the thriller aspects, Michaela Watkins does a good job slowly revealing how truly off balance she is and walking a fine line between innocence and menace. But when things are supposed to start getting intense, Bad Therapy loses its way, unable to give us an enjoyably dark comedy or land any genuine chills.

There are lots of iffy messages and iffy behavior. Mature sexuality, alcohol and drug use, and some strong language make it suitable for older teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the drug and alcohol use in Bad Therapy. Is it a big deal? What are some consequences that could happen in real life?

  • Did you notice any gender stereotyping? If so, did it come from the characters themselves, or from the movie's overall point of view, or both?

  • What about the strong language? Is it realistic? Does it matter?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

Themes & Topics

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