Because I Said So

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Because I Said So Movie Poster Image
Keaton and Moore can't save bland, cliched romcom.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

A mother berates her adult daughter and interferes in her dating life; sisters withhold information; Milly cheats on both boyfriends; boyfriends are alternately scheming, angry, and possessive.

Violence

Pratfalls (two involving cakes); suggestion that a suicidal patient jumps out a window (cake falls on the patient's head).

Sex

Mother and daughters appear in underwear in locker room (their bottoms appear in close-up and they discuss thongs), subtitled references to Daphne's need for a "stiff one" and "poofter" Daphne watches porn Web site (sounds are explicit; imagery is not); dog humps stool; reference to "woody" discussion of orgasm (with daughter acting out what it's like for her mother); some cleavage; Daphne worries that an unbuttoned dress shows that her daughter is "asking for it" non-explicit montage of sex scenes (Milly with two men); little boy says "gina" (for vagina) and "penis" kissing/making out between Daphne and Joe, who later appear in bed together.

Language

Mild language: "ass," "damn it," plus semi-joke about "Italian for 'late'" ("retardo") and several sexual innuendoes.

Consumerism

Reference to Mentos.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking on social occasions (wine, champagne, brandy).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids under 14 (even big Mandy Moore fans) probably won't be interested in this flat, unoriginal romantic comedy. The film's humor is based on a very tired stereotype: the aggressively interfering mother. Her interest in her youngest daughter's love life leads to silly jokes, sexual imagery (women appear in their underwear, some kissing, a brief montage shows one woman with two different partners), and innuendo (including discussion about -- and re-enactment of -- orgasms). Very mild language for PG-13 ("ass," "damn it") and some tame social drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydarksat April 4, 2014

Nasty woman decides to 2 time and deceive 2 guys. Terrible Morals

Completely puerile piece of crap about a woman who thinks seeing 2 guys at the same time is the best way to find love. Didn't watch the end but I hope they... Continue reading
Adult Written bylisagre April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byeurorayne94a April 9, 2008

I laughed so hard! A must see (if your mature enough to handle it)!

Parts of the movie were iffy but, it was hilarious!! Me and my friend were laughing so hard on the way to the car we almost got ran over!! The ending was the be... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEmilyB123 August 7, 2010
This movie was pretty boring to be honest and I couldn't really get into it very well. Perfect for teens.

What's the story?

Longtime single mother Daphne (Diane Keaton) is determined to marry off her three grown daughters, hoping they'll avoid her own loneliness. She is successful with daughters Maggie and Mae, but poor Milly (Mandy Moore) just can't seem to find the right guy. When Daphne sets up a series of meetings for Milly with young men she finds through the Internet, the movie resorts to an awkward montage of loser dates. Milly's ideal date, in Daphne's mind, is architect Jason, who seems controlling and possessive -- much like Daphne. But just as Daphne sets up the date, another suitor appears in her daughter's life, lounge guitarist/music teacher Johnny. While it's easy to see which man Milly prefers, she has to grind through repeated scenes in which she argues with Daphne, convinces herself that Jason's OK, and talks over all of her dates and anxieties with her sisters.

Is it any good?

Clumsy and bland, BECAUSE I SAID SO sets up one basic joke -- the obnoxious and interfering mother -- and runs it into the ground. Directed by Michael Lehmann in a way that might best be described as "disinterested," Because I Said So includes so many clichés that it's hard to keep count: the bad-driving scenes, the dog reaction shots, the falling-with-cake scenes, the inability-to-work-technology scenes (Daphne pulls up a porn site on her computer and can't turn it off), and even the watching-old-movies scenes. This last is especially egregious and self-defeating -- since Daphne's a Gary Cooper fan, the classic films she watches make this one seem even worse by comparison.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about romantic comedies. How is this movie like other romantic comedies you've seen? Why do movies in this genre tend to follow the same pattern? Can you think of any examples of obvious "romantic comedy" elements (i.e. making Milly's boyfriends so different that her choice seems obvious to viewers)? Families can also talk about overbearing parents. How can suggestions that are intended to be helpful end up hurting the person they're directed at? Besides criticizing them, how else could Daphne encourage her daughters?

Movie details

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