Catch and Release
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Mostly forgettable romantic comedy for teens+.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters learn to look past their preconceived notions of each other.
Violence & Scariness
A woman slaps a man twice out of anger; he responds by forcibly holding her hands against a wall. They then kiss.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
At his close friend's funeral reception, a man has sex with the caterer in the bathroom. Two main characters share a passionate kiss and have sex several times, but it's never more explicit than the standard shot of the man's bare chest and the woman's naked shoulders under the sheets. A woman gives a man a comical full-body massage, and it's implied that she touches his genitals before immediately apologizing and stopping. A child born as the result of an affair is a central part of the storyline.
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Occasional use of strong language, including "s--t," "bulls--t," "s--tcan," and other mild obscenities: "damn," "ass," "assface," "jackass."
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Products & Purchases
Sam works at the herbal-tea company Celestial Seasonings, and the brand's logo is prominently displayed on T-shirts, mugs, and around the company's offices. He also frequently quotes the famous adages printed on the tea boxes. Gray drives a Subaru Outback wagon in several scenes. A 3-year-old has a Happy Meal.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The grief-stricken characters self-medicate with alcohol -- Scotch, wine, beer, vodka, you name it. One character takes prescribed drugs to sleep and later gets drunk at a bar and wakes up with a severe hangover. Another character drinks to excess on several occasions and ends up hospitalized after mixing vodka and sedatives. One character smokes a joint after having sex.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this isn't your typical romantic comedy. After the main character's fiancé dies on the eve of her wedding day, she discovers that her husband-to-be hid the facts that he was a millionaire and had fathered a child with another woman. Out of grief, the characters act recklessly and have casual sex, overeat to the point of gluttony, and frequently get drunk. Tweens might initially want to see this because of Jennifer Garner's popular comedy 13 Going on 30, but this "chick flick" features very mature themes like death, infidelity, and deceit.
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
Jennifer Garner stars as Gray, a woman whose fiancé, Grady, dies on his bachelor-party fishing trip, so she spends what would've been her wedding day attending his funeral. After the funeral, Gray moves in with her beloved's odd-couple roommates -- responsible business partner Dennis and slacker Celestial Seasonings employee Sam (Kevin Smith). Complicating the new "three's company" balance is Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), Grady's womanizing high-school friend.Gray can't figure out why Fritz, a Hollywood director, is still hanging around their Boulder, Colo., bungalow until she finds out that Grady had never revealed a couple of important details about his life: He was a millionaire, and he was sending monthly payments to a woman and her son -- his son. When Grady's New-Agey baby mama (Juliette Lewis) and son show up wondering where their check is, the story comes even further apart.
Is It Any Good?
Even Alias devotees who adore Jennifer Garner will be disappointed by this unimpressive dramedy. At least Juliette Lewis and Kevin Smith are amusing as, respectively, an airheadish massage therapist who studies Chinese medicine and a robe-wearing, fast-talking layabout who likes to quote sayings printed on herbal-tea boxes. But a few funny lines can't save this romantic comedy from being utterly forgettable.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the many ways that people keep secrets. What would have happened if Grady hadn't died? In what ways are all the characters different than they first seem? After the funeral, how do Grady's best friends help support Gray? What are some examples of the characters acting selflessly? How is this movie similar to and different from other romantic comedies? What elements do most romantic comedies have in common?
- In theaters: January 25, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: May 8, 2007
- Cast: Jennifer Garner, Kevin Smith, Timothy Olyphant
- Director: Susannah Grant
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, language and some drug use.
- Last updated: April 5, 2023
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