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 movie is suited to older audiences as it draws on the musical comedy tradition of the past. It has the same cheerful air of innocence, but it deals with more the adult issues of relationships and sex, but these ideas are presented in a Allen's neurotic manner. There are a few very mild swear words for emphasis and one strong profanity in the context of a hip hop show. There is some onscreen drinking.
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What's the story?
EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU is Woody Allen's homage to musical comedies of the fifties and sixties complete with song and dance numbers and familiar plotlines. The movie centers around a wealthy extended family, the Berlin/Dandridges, replete with exes, half-siblings, and significant others. Plucky D.J. (Natasha Lyonne) narrates, recounting stories of her woebegone father Joe (Woody Allen), who is looking for his dream girl in the midst of a nasty breakup and her sister Skylar (Drew Barrymore), a romantic woman who is torn between her sweet lawyer fiance (Edward Norton) and a charming ex-convict (Tim Roth). D.J. is fickle, keeping her romances as light and pretty as the movie itself. Other members of the family support the film's theme of romance, from the solid and graceful marriage between D.J.'s mother and stepfather to the first loves and heartbreaks of D.J.'s teenage sisters.
Is it any good?
This is a lovely movie, albeit a little silly. The family's over-the-top antics make the musical numbers in a sense more realistic. In keeping with Allen's obsession with the musical past, classics love songs from the twenties and thirties are present throughout the film - the most familiar one being "I'm Through with Love," made famous by Marilyn Monroe's rendition of it in Some Like It Hot.
Both the lead and supporting cast (featuring Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda and a very young Natalie Portman) do a game job of singing and dancing on their own. Typical Woody Allen's dialogue sparkles between musical numbers, and the acting is top notch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the family featured in the film, a loving collection of eccentrics. How do individuals make their place in a large group? How can a family develop the same closeness and equality that the Berlin/Dundridge family has? Families can also discuss the relationship between Joe Berlin and Von Sidell. Is Joe right to use what he knows about Von to woo her? Does it make either of them happy?
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