Legendary lover cleans up for happy commitment.
  • Review Date: April 24, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sexual excess is a theme, though lovers learn to commit to single partners and respect one another.


A duel, some rambunctious action.


Much discussion of sexual activity, some kissing and revealing clothing, partial undress.


Minor (several uses of "damn" and "hell").

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking at parties, brief smoking by one character.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this romance is focused on the legendary 18th-century lothario, here revised to suit a secret identity plot and his romance with a proto-feminist writer. The film includes some raunchy sexual material, plus jokes about bodily functions (as well as verbal and visual jokes about one character's obesity). References are made to sexual pleasures, "whores," brothels, virgins, "fornication," as well as "coming" and "instrument" (as double entendres). Characters appear in various states of undress, women wear cleavage-revealing dresses. Characters drink at parties; one smokes cigarettes.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In CASANOVA, 18th-century womanizer Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (Heath Ledger) spots Francesca (Sienna Miller), lecturing in an academy, disguised as a man. Her topic: the state of heterosexual relations. When her listeners insist they will never stand for a woman among them, she whips off her wig and beard, noting, \"Too late, gentlemen!\" Although Casanova is soon trying to escape from guards who have been sent by his arch-enemy Pucci (Jeremy Irons), he likes feisty Francesca and sets out to win her. To evade arrest, Casanova agrees to marry the virgin Victoria (Natalie Dormer), while Francesca is promised to lard baron Papprizzio (Oliver Platt) by her impoverished mother Andrea Bruni (Lena Olin). Though Francesca despises everything she knows about Casanova, she is taken by him when he pretends to be Papprizzio. He tries to keep her away from the real Papprizzio, avoid Pucci, and charm Victoria and Andrea in order to give himself enough room to seduce Francesca.

Is it any good?


Gaudy and giddy, this Casanova is full of energy but also strangely limp. Here the legendary lover is caught up in a swirl of Venetian activities, from pig wrangling and dueling to hot air ballooning and torturing (supposedly comedic, though associated with the Inquisition), but he's actually quite the nice fellow. Casanova's story is a juggling act and then some, but for all the flouncing and running about, it's very slow going.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the representation of marriage, as a means to solidify one's social status, clear one's name, cover up for sexual activity, and gain money. Francesca's argument for women's rights and against men's objectification of women is simplistic but also provides grist for conversation: how can she make her point clear in a film where she's the primary romantic object?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 23, 2005
DVD release date:April 25, 2006
Cast:Heath Ledger, Lena Olin, Sienna Miller
Director:Lasse Hallstrom
Studio:Touchstone Pictures
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some sexual content

This review of Casanova was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written bygrmntownmom April 9, 2008

It was o.k.

I expected this to be a bit funnier than it was. It's a good movie to rent if you're out of movies to watch, but I wouldn't put it on any immediate "must watch" list. The social behavior of Casanova of course is not one to be looked up to by teens, but the leading lady has some noble characteristics. Although much of the topics talk of sex and there are some light seens, I am a bit perplexed that this got an R rating, while movies showing much more graphic, steamier sex scenes receive a PG-13 rating.
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
Adult Written byFerron008 April 9, 2008

Not completely bad...

Could be better


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide