Crazy on the Outside

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Crazy on the Outside Movie Poster Image
So-so romcom with lots of sexual situations; not for tweens.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 96 minutes

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age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie suggests that it's possible that a character, released from a three-year stint in prison, can straighten out his life and find happiness. Of course, Tommy faces many temptations, and he briefly succumbs to some of them, but eventually manages to bounce back. He also has some bad luck, but weathers everything quite nicely. Overall, he's a good example of overcoming adversity. On the other hand, there is some very brief Asian stereotyping.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tommy has served three years in prison for video piracy, and he leaves determined to go straight. He reconnects with his family and tries to start up a good business (his father's old company). He shows strong empathy toward a single mother and her son. There are many wrong paths, and he faces many temptations, but aside from a few stumbles, he works hard to change his bad behavior and become a good person.


Minor comic violence. Tommy is "kidnapped" in one scene, though it turns out to be nothing. A jealous boyfriend catches him and we see one punch. A baseball hits a kid in the head during a game.


No nudity, but the film is filled with sexual situations, sexual innuendo, and some kissing. Tommy has wild, comical sex with his old girlfriend, not knowing that she has a new fiance. The girlfriend suggests that they continue "cheating" after she's married. Tommy's brother-in-law continually lusts after his wife (Tommy's sister) and makes sexy comments about her. Tommy "checks out" his new parole officer, a dildo is shown, and characters talk about sex very often.


The movie pushes the boundaries of its PG-13 rating, with one use of "f--k" and multiple uses of "s--t." We also hear "butt," "d--k," "ass," "damn," "Jesus," "crap," "bitch," "hell," "bastard," "God," "nuts," "asshole," and "hump."


There's enough product placement to call attention to itself. Tommy's sister offers him a "Tic Tac" and a "Life Saver" in the film's first ten minutes. We see a can of Coca-Cola, a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and a bottle of Dasani water (a product of the Coca-Cola company).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink beer and wine with dinner. In one scene, a supporting character -- the grandmother -- comically adds whisky to her coffee.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is a romantic comedy, and the directorial debut of actor/comedian Tim Allen (The Santa Clause, the voice of "Buzz Lightyear" in the Toy Story movies). It contains some mature material, but its overall messages are positive and should be fine for older teens, even though it's aimed more at grown-ups. Profanity is fairly heavy, with one use of "f--k" and several uses of "s--t," and there are constant, comical sexual situations, though no nudity.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written bycrap1 December 28, 2011

What's the story?

Tommy (Tim Allen) has just served three years in prison for video piracy. He moves in with his sister (Sigourney Weaver) and attempts to rebuild his life, starting by taking up his father's old painting business. Unfortunately, his sister has set up an elaborate system of lies that Tommy must attempt to live up to. His former partner in crime (Ray Liotta) wants him back. And his ex-girlfriend -- whom he thought was dead -- wants to have an illicit affair with him. Worse, his pretty parole officer (Jeanne Tripplehorn) wants him to work at a fast food restaurant; he starts to develop feelings for her, but her past baggage, as well as his history as a criminal, prevents her from opening up to him. Can Tommy juggle all these stumbling blocks, resist temptation, build his own business, and settle down with the right girl?

Is it any good?

Tim Allen's feature directorial debut -- he once directed an episode of "Home Improvement" -- is at once innocuous as well as inoffensive. He doesn't necessarily rely on childish slapstick, even if he includes strong language and sexual situations. But he also doesn't really take any chances; he conjures up a fairly standard romantic comedy in which a poor, lost, sad-sack must decide on the right girl, avoid temptation and trouble, listen to dunderheaded advice from his friends and relations, and still come out the other side.

As a result of this safety, there are few genuine laughs or surprises here, but there are some heartfelt performances, and some warm moments from a cast of talented character actors. Allen's movie has its heart in the right place, and it winds up as a fairly inspirational comedy, without being truly memorable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's sexual content. Was it appropriate? Was it funny? Was there too much?

  • Is it really possible for an ex-con to live a good, decent life? How would you feel about a person like this? Could you trust them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romantic comedies

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