A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this mature family drama centers on a long-married couple facing serious challenges, from intense job pressure to caring for an elderly parent. Meanwhile, their two sons -- including a teenage boy who’s coming to terms with being gay -- are starting to slip through the cracks. The characters are complex (and flawed), and there's a great deal of interpersonal tension. You can also expect some sexual situations, frequent swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), and several scenes featuring drinking and drugs (including one sequence in which an older character coerces a teen into taking drugs).
What's the story?
Ned (Liev Schreiber), a TV writer, is on a bumpy ride: His marriage loses stability after his wife, Jeannie (Helen Hunt), starts caring for her sick father (Brian Dennehy), a jazz musician who's more comfortable doling out criticisms than encouragements. Ned's 15-year-old son, Jonah (Ezra Miller), has just come out, and Ned worries about what the future holds for him. And their younger son, Ethan (Skyler Fortgang), is falling through the cracks. Last but not least, Ned’s boss (Eddie Izzard) is unimpressed by his work and has paired him off with Robin (Carla Gugino), a newly single co-writer who has no hesitation about making it clear that she’s attracted to Ned. Can he and his marriage survive this perfect storm?
Is it any good?
Ned and Jeannie are likable enough, but the movie's anemic build-up doesn’t allow us to invest in their mess-ups and their consequences. When they fail or hurt, we observe it all at a distance. We just expect more from a movie that pairs a ridiculously good cast with a compelling premise about a woman challenged to care for her difficult, ailing father and her husband who can’t quite cope with this sudden shift at home and another seismic one at work. Though laden with dramatic setups, this drama lacks potency and momentum, and in the end doesn’t leave audiences with any reason to care. (Hard to imagine, given that the lead is a man with a job writing for a juicy, absurdist TV show, and his father-in-law is a jazzy hep cat.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the movie portrays relationships -- between husband and wife, parent and child, siblings, etc. Do they seem realistic? Can you relate to the characters?
How does the movie present drug use? What are the consequences for that kind of behavior in real life?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.