A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Father of the Year is a comedy about two recent college graduates who return to their hometown and challenge their outlandish dads to fight one another. Like the other Netflix Original movies from Happy Madison Productions (Adam Sandler's company), this one is filled with profanity. No scene is complete without countless uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "d--k," "pr--k," and "a--hole." Then there's the potty language: entire conversations about "dumps," urination, penises, and sex. Viewers should expect comic nudity, a bawdy sequence about nipple cream causing an adult male to grow female breasts, and a much older, unattractive woman crudely coming on to one of the young heroes. The movie is heavy on slapstick action: falls from roofs, high shelves, a truck; fistfighting and head butts; crashing into all manner of furniture, windows, and equipment. One lead character is an unabashed alcoholic, and there's drinking throughout. Zoloft, tequila, marijuana, and Vicodin are offered to a stressed-out young man. The film isn't recommended but may still appeal to audiences who like gross-out movies with cheap laughs.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Recent college graduates Ben (Joey Bragg) and Larry (Matt Shively) are on their way to NYC with a brief stop in their small hometown in FATHER OF THE YEAR. Both motherless, they are relentlessly embarrassed and disappointed by their two "unconventional" fathers. Wayne (David Spade doing a variation of his Joe Dirt character), Ben's dad, is an incorrigible drunk, unkempt, unemployed, and proud of it. Larry's father, Mardy (Nat Faxon), is an uptight scientist, cowed by his wife and stepson who make his life miserable. On a whim, the two young men challenge their clueless dads to fight ... which leads to mayhem and chaos. Jobs are threatened. Arrests are made. A marriage falters. And in a series of hometown horrors (including an annual "wife-carrying" contest and a bawdy old lady trying to seduce Larry), along with a resurrected romance, the two friends may not make it to New York after all.
Is it any good?
No raucous stone is left unturned in this nonstop tribute to vulgar humor: ludicrously over-the-top characters, ridiculously silly situations, and a constant flow of potty language and obscenities. Father of the Year is a perfect storm of bad writing and witless execution meant to elicit laughs from audiences who respond to childish jokes, absurd sight gags, and infantile behavior. Only Joey Bragg and Matt Shively, along with Bridgit Mendler, who plays Meredith, Ben's long-time crush, escape this ruthless effort to destroy reputations. As in many movies of this ilk, it may well find an audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how movies are intended for specific audiences. What demographic group do you think the team behind Father of the Year was targeting?
Think about the volume of obscenities and raunchy language in this film. What's the purpose of the profanity in this particular story? Did it ever become tiresome and/or offensive? Why or why not?
What is meant by the term "juvenile" or "sophomoric" humor? In what ways do Wayne and Mardy behave like children? In what ways are Ben and Larry the grown-ups in this film?