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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Depiction of how elderly are neglected and underestimated in modern society, or just plain expected to do nothing and die meekly. The aliens instead offer the old humans a chance to lead "productive lives" again. Just not on Earth. Some characters argue ethics of cheating death and what price one would pay. The miraculous return of youth also rekindles negative traits among some of the elderly.
Positive Role Models
The Antareans are surely among the nicest space beings Hollywood ever conjured. Police, moms, coast guard, and other authority figures are unhelpful and/or menacing, as in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. People without much power in society, like the elderly and children, seem more trustworthy. The old folks aren't angels, though. They swear, break rules, and one of them cheats on his wife.
Violence & Scariness
A fistfight. A nameless extra in cardiac arrest undergoes elecroshock. A helpless alien dies of old age.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Elderly characters have sex -- mostly within marriage, though one commits infidelity. The lovemaking is all off camera, but they sure talk about it. Two other characters have human-alien intimacy -- which is a mostly no-touching, energy-field deal, but clearly orgasmic. An alien disguised as a pretty young earthling is naked from the rear. The young male lead spies on her while she undresses. Talk of "boner" erections.
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The s-word, "ass, "hell," "Jesus Christ," "Goddamned," "ball sack," "crap," "fart," and the other f-word once.
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Products & Purchases
A joke reference to the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Some product labels and car models.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social and saloon drinking. There are suspicions voiced that the disguised alien expedition are "dope peddlers" and that the fountain-of-youth pool is some kind of cocaine stash.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know there is fairly regular swearing in this seriocomic sci-fi tale, including one shocked f-word, but maybe even more troubling for young viewers is the strong theme of mortality and sweet old grandparent-like characters (and nice-guy aliens) dying, or going away forever. Much is made of the elderly having sex -- nothing shown, but there's plenty of sex talk and the general vibe of a Viagra commercial. Two other characters "share themselves" with human-alien intimacy, a no-touching, energy-field deal, but clearly orgasmic. An alien disguised as a pretty young earthling is naked from the rear and nude in a pool up to her collarbone. There is a subplot about marital infidelity and some fistfight-scuffling. In all the talk about end-of-life issues, nobody mentions religion at all --there's only one service shown briefly at the end -- but a grandfather's speech to his grandson about "going away" skyward, where nobody ages or dies, is sort of a metaphor. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This isn't the only sci-fi based on the Fountain of Youth, but it is an uncommonly gentle one. It also makes a few serious points (blunted a bit by wish-fulfillment and special effects) about the plight of the aged in modern society. Elders here are poignantly marginalized, their "golden years" spent mostly waiting to die. Only one guy with a loving grandchild seems to have strong ties with the world outside the senior community, and it's a world that wants to revoke his driver's license (and thus his independence) because of bad eyesight.
There's a strong emotional undertone and some real tearjerking moments when aliens offer these seniors immortality. One wishes director Ron Howard had toned down the f/x-blitz finale and explored more thoroughly whether death/ loss are necessary to be human; the sequel Coccoon: The Return groped in that direction but came up mediocre.
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.