Ed

 
(i)

 

A buddy comedy with big groans, potty humor, and drinking.
  • Review Date: January 8, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1996
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's primary message is that luck is in your heart and your head, and not in some external force, such as a good-luck talisman. The film also espouses messages of loyalty, friendship, and doing the right thing.

Positive role models

Single mom Lydia is a caring and concerned mother. Jack "Deuce" Cooper is a loyal friend who tries to do the right thing. A baseball coach mentors Cooper to believe in himself in spite of losing many games for the team.

Violence

Violence is minimal and cartoonish, with no blood or gore. In one scene, a chimp drives a truck recklessly through town. A chimp's forcible caging is implied off screen. A fight to rescue the chimp involves a punch to the face, a kick to the groin, and a baseball bat to an arm. A chimp's cage is electrocuted.

Sex

A bit of romantic content and sexual innuendo including a brief clip of Miss America contests parading around in bikinis on a television set. A young girl asks Deuce if he's "gay," and why he hasn't asked out her mother yet, then encourages him to ask her out. Cooper says "wow" while eyeing a woman's dress and body. A couple slow dances and embraces, plus a few kisses. Sexual innuendo when Cooper says, tongue-in-cheek, "I'm gonna spank that monkey."

Language

Recurring casual cursing includes "hell" and "dammit." Some gender-based insults, such as when the coaches call the baseball players "ladies" to mock them.

Consumerism

A Cherry Coke is plugged in one scene.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In one key scene, the team members convene at a local bar to mourn a fellow player's dismissal, where they all take a shot of liquor, and then are seen drinking beers. Deuce becomes visibly drunk and tries to drive. The chimp takes over and drives him while he is passed out in the passenger seat. The next day, he and other players are visibly hungover, and they are told not to practice. A coach drinks cocktails regularly and some characters chew tobacco or smoke cigars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ed is a family comedy that's largely an innocuous, if immature, buddy flick that relies near-exclusively on potty humor (read: fart jokes) and the wacky hijinks of an animatronic chimpanzee to garner laughs. The profanity is mild but recurring, but the trickier question the movie raises for parents is the presence of a scene that includes drinking and an attempt at drunk driving that is played for comedy, with no explicit consequences. In another potentially problematic scene, the main character "Deuce" lies, steals a truck, and uses violence to resolve conflict, in the service of doing the right thing to rescue his friend.

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What's the story?

A talented, ambitious minor-league pitcher named Jack Cooper (Matt LeBlanc), AKA "Deuce," with an unfortunate propensity for choking during games is enlisted to babysit the new team mascot, a chimpanzee, Ed (Jay Caputo), with a mind for mischief and a little baseball talent himself. Along the way, Deuce learns about baseball, friendship, and luck.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This challengingly cheesy comedy is long on fart jokes and short on charm. The animatronic, mechanical monkey and more than one supporting character are as cornball as it gets, and the recurring bathroom humor and monkey-acts-like-a-monkey jokes get tedious fast. It is no surprise that this flick received a whopping four Razzies in its heyday. 

Nonetheless, kids of any age (and some adults) will likely delight at the armpit flatulence, flatulence competitions, and general silliness (read: flatulence) of the chimpanzee. However, parents will need to make a judgment call on how to handle the scene of drinking and attempted drunk driving that is no better resolved by having the chimp take the wheel. But assuming that's a challenge worth taking, the adults suffering through this misguided romp can enjoy passing the time by debating the merits of LeBlanc's first big feature just after his success on Friends, early career appearances by actors like Jim Cavaziel, or Tommy Lasorda as himself. You take what you can get.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Deuce's actions, which include lying, stealing, and resorting to violence, are justified in the service of helping his friend. Is it OK to do something wrong if the outcome is right?

  • The drinking in the movie is played mostly for laughs. What would be the real-life consequences of driving drunk or showing up to work hungover?

  • How did Deuce's friendship with Ed, the chimpanzee, change over the course of the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 15, 1996
DVD release date:July 1, 2003
Cast:Bill Cobbs, Jack Warden, Jay Caputo, Jayne Brook, Matt LeBlanc
Director:Bill Couturie
Studio:Universal Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:Rated PG for language, crude humor and brief mild violence

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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.

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