A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie presents a multifaceted, complex portrait of modern relationships -- there's no simple take-away here. Women don't have it easy, but neither do men.
Positive Role Models
Most, but not all, of the men in the film come across as deeply flawed -- to the point of near caricature. They're depicted as chauvinistic, opportunistic, or just plain messed up. The female protagonist, though equally flawed, appears to be very strong.
Violence & Scariness
Though no one is physically hurt, some of the stories the men tell are demeaning of women. And in some, there's an undercurrent of hostility.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Men and women aren't shown actually hooking up, but some scenes depict men ogling women or picking them up. A couple is shown cuddling.
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Fairly raw. Everything from "damn" to "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking and smoking by adult characters.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this indie relationship drama directed by The Office star John Krasinski based on the story collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace is aimed at adults. The subject matter can feel very heavy, and the characters who deliver the movie's intense monologues/conversations about the coolly detached -- and sometimes destructive -- ways that men interact with women are are deeply flawed. Expect some swearing (including words like "f--k"), sexual references, social drinking, and smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Debuted at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, this film is a respectful adaptation that manages to visually translate the material but doesn't necessarily capture its potency. It was inspired by the late, great David Foster Wallace's story collection, and Wallace's work is hardly an easy read; rendering it onscreen may be tougher still.
That monumental task fell to The Office's John Krasinski, who shepherded the project from concept to fruition (he also acts in it). Kudos to him for not completely botching the job -- and for instilling some structure on which to hang Wallace's stories. He also assembles one of the most talented group of actors -- in addition to the list above, the cast includes Will Arnett, Josh Charles, Frankie Faison, and Bobby Cannavale -- we've seen in a while. But, in the end, the audience hardly arrives at a coherent understanding of men. The interviews are all too brief and the epiphanies unsurprising.
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.