Family Weekend

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Family Weekend Movie Poster Image
Teen tries to repair dysfunctional family in so-so comedy.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The parents are initially distracted and self-centered, but they slowly realize how much they've ignored their children and neglected their marriage. Once they do, they discover that they can -- and will -- repair the damage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Emily's anger and frustration are understandable, and while her methods are questionable, they also get results. Yes, there's a happy ending, but Emily still has to answer for her actions.


A teen drugs her mom and dad and then ties them up; they spend the weekend subdued while she tries to force them to become better parents. A girl hits an adult over the head with a trophy, knocking him unconscious.


Some sexual references. Some characters flirt. A teen boy collects porno magazines.


Infrequent use of "s--t" and "f--k," but milder swearing -- "crap," "bitchy," "t-t," "goddamn," "butt," etc. -- is more common.


Some characters use BlackBerry and Apple mobile phones. Several references to classic films.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine at dinner. One character smokes a joint.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Family Weekend delivers a simple and important message about parents who realize too late that ignoring their children can signficantly damage their family. That said, the takeaway is packaged in a comedy/drama that centers on teenage Emily, who drives it home with some pretty questionable methods: She drugs her mom and dad, ties them to chairs, and spends two days trying to teach them the error of their ways. There's some violence (the tying up, someone getting hit over the head), some sexual references (including a character who collects both gay and straight porn magazines), and moderate swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), a character smoking a joint in one scene, and a meal with some unusually potent wine.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykps84094 September 16, 2013

Very funny movie! Should be PG-13 instead of R.

This has to be one of the funnier shows I have ever seen. I laughed through most of the movie. There are some sexual references in one part that may not be ap... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byZambz July 29, 2013

MPAA Has Done It Again

This movie has an excellent message towards teenagers. What they are going through and this video sets one example. NO violence is attended in the movie, only s... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bydirectionerforever April 25, 2013

i love the movie but i dnt knw about u

the movie is so funny i coudnt stop laughing

i love this movie

its my second favourite movie

What's the story?

When her parents miss another important event, fed-up Emily (Olesya Rulin) decides that their relationship is in dire need of rescue. Taking matters into her own hands, she drugs her mother (Kristin Chenoweth) and father (Matthew Modine), ties them to chairs, and begins a FAMILY WEEKEND re-education effort. As Emily and her three siblings explain how ignored they feel, their high-powered executive mom and distracted-painter dad slowly begin to realize how their self-centered behavior has damaged their once-happy home.

Is it any good?

Family Weekend has an important lesson at its core, but it's delivered in a way that's both formulaic and trite. Emily's kidnapping plot is so over the top that it's hard to take seriously, but it's easy to see where it's going. The bitter, distracted parents, forced to spend time together, start to remember why they love each other in a scene that's that's not especially convincing. And Emily's siblings each have a single trait (a fixation on old films, an evolving sexuality) that makes them easy to script, rather than making them fully fleshed out characters.

Modine and Chenoweth are at their most convincing as bad parents -- he's a bored slacker who prefers nap time over interacting with kids, and she's an executive who spends more time talking to her mobile phone than her offspring. But once they have to become real parents, their portrayals fall flat, and so does the film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Family Weekend's message. What's the core takeaway? Does it come through despite Emily's iffy actions?

  • Do you think the family in the movie seems realistic? Or is the portrayal of distracted parents too cliched?

  • Why is Emily so upset with her parents? Is her anger justified? What do you think about her plan to fix her dysfunctional family?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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