A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- In theaters: February 1, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: May 8, 2007
- Cast: Diane Keaton, Lauren Graham, Mandy Moore
- Director: Michael Lehmann
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content including dialogue, some mature thematic material and partial nudity.
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