A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Main message is to have better communication when you're in any type of relationship, including romantic relationships and friendships. But overall the film focuses less on positive messaging and more on (supposed) laughs.
Positive Role Models
Nina and Allen aren't necessarily bad people: Both are successful in their careers and have active social lives. But they lack the necessary communication skills to keep each other happy. For Allen, this lack extends to his relationship with his friend/business partner. And when it comes to their romantic relationship, Nina and Allen rope the workers of their favorite bar into helping them decide what to do with their relationship, instead of having tough conversations together and, preferably, not in a public setting.
The cast is racially diverse. But the film relies too much on comedic clichés and character "types" -- i.e., the gruff, hard cook (Dot-Marie Jones), the tough bartender (Shontae Saldana), and the sidekick friends. One is a sex-crazed, bawdy woman who shows affection in annoying, abrasive ways (Rachel Bloom); the other plays into the "Black best friend" stereotype (Julian Gant). Gant's character actually calls this out within the movie (which makes you wonder why the writer didn't change it if he was already aware of it).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Multiple scenes with sexual humor, a comedic sex scene (no sensitive nudity), and graphic but comedic descriptions of sex/sexual acts ("ruin some d--ks," "sucks my t-ts," "boning the s--t" out of someone, etc.).
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Strong language includes "f--k," "f---ing," "bitch," "ass," "p---y," "hell," "bulls--t," "damn," "s--t." Exclamatory use of "oh my God," "Jesus." Middle-finger gesture. Use of potentially ableist word "lame."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes with drinking alcohol. The film is set in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bar Fight! is a comedy about a couple (Melissa Fumero and Luka Jones) who've decided to break up but go through a series of comedic tests to see who gets to stay a regular at their favorite bar. Given the topic and setting, expect multiple scenes with drinking. There's also plenty of strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and more), sexual humor, a comedic sex scene (no sensitive nudity), and graphic but comedic descriptions of sex and sexual acts (e.g., "ruin some d--ks," "sucks my t-ts," "boning the s--t" out of someone, etc.). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This comedy is an hour and 24 minutes long, but it feels like two given how aggressively not funny it is. Bar Fight! feels more like a sitcom, with the types of characters you'd find in Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Grand Crew, two shows that do the ensemble comedy thing much better and more successfully than this film does.
While most of the characters are just fine -- if thinly developed -- Nina's best friend, Chelsea (Rachel Bloom), is very grating. She seems to hate being married and having children and aggressively wants her friend to have a rip-roaring sex life so that she can live vicariously through her. Between how the character was written and Bloom's acting choices, Chelsea comes off as a real problem area for the film. It makes no sense that someone like Nina -- who isn't sexually aggressive or rude -- would have her as a best friend. Also bizarre is how the film decides to call out the fact that Allen's best friend, Milan (Julian Gant), is, indeed fulfilling the tired "Black sidekick" cliché. With Milan breaking the fourth wall in a sense by accusing Allen of thinking of him in such a way, it begs the question as to why the character wasn't written differently in the first place. Bottom line? Bar Fight! isn't worth fighting for.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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