Flakes Movie Poster Image

Flakes

(i)

 

Quirky, mature hipster comedy is a bit too soggy.
  • Review Date: December 25, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The protagonist means well; he's so devoted to his boss that his own work suffers. The relationship between Neal and his girlfriend seems very loving, though when they fight they often hit below the belt. A businessman steals a franchise idea from an entrepreneur.

Violence

Some yelling between couples. Neal kicks and smashes his speaker.

Sex

A couple makes out in their bedroom and are then shown in bed, under covers -- the man is naked from the waist up, the woman wears a camisole. Some innuendoes about having sex, but nothing too candid.

Language

Frequent use of "f--k" (and another variation, "motherf--ker"), "sh-t," "a--hole," and more.

Consumerism

Name a cereal brand, and it's visible and talked about, including Count Chocula, Lucky Charms, etc. Signage for the two featured restaurants. The whole film seems like an homage to New Orleans, with its montages of the city's tourist haunts.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of drinking (mostly beer, and only by adults) and smoking. In fact, in one scene, Neal smokes so many cigarettes that he arranges the butts to stand up like a phalanx of soldiers. Allusions to drug use, especially in relation to Willie.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that though this comedy may appeal to teenagers because it stars indie fave Deschanel, it has plenty of strong language (including many uses of "f--k") and shows its characters smoking and drinking fairly often. And though it's good-natured, there's something a little disturbing about the one-upmanship between Neal and his girlfriend. Plus, the movie is cereal-obsessed; the characters live and breath cereal trivia (kind of like the way the folks in High Fidelity obsess over music) to the point that the movie almost feels like a cereal infomercial.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Neal Downs (Aaron Stanford) is a musician who moonlights as the manager of Flakes, a quirky café that serves only cereal. His artist girlfriend, Miss Pussy Katz (Zooey Deschanel), wishes he would quit his job and finish the album he's been working on so they can finally start a life together. But Neal can't shake Flakes because its foggy-minded owner, Willie (Christopher Lloyd) is almost always out to lunch. When Pussy offers to man the fort while Neal focuses on his music and he refuses, she hightails it over to the upstart cereal bar across the street. The place is owned by a nerdy wannabe, Stuart (Keir O'Donnell), who's café is threatening Flakes' stability. If Flakes closes down, Pussy surmises, maybe Neal will finally focus on his art. But Neal isn't about to go down without a fight. Needless to say, their relationship suffers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

If the plot seems like too little to sustain a whole movie, that's because it is. Cereal is the ultimate comfort food: easy, uncomplicated, reliably pleasing. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for FLAKES -- the latest film from director Michael Lehmann (he also helmed Heathers) -- despite the fact that it's about the hipsters and hippies who hang out at a restaurant that serves nothing but the boxed breakfast staple.

Charm alone -- the movie stars Deschanel, after all, and makes some interesting (albeit unoriginal) points about art vs. capitalism -- can't carry Flakes through. It's fun to see New Orleans through the camera's affectionate, even longing, gaze, and the cast clearly has rapport, but in the end, Flakes is simply much too soggy to relish.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the film pits art against commerce. Is it really that black and white? Can you be an artist and a successful businessperson at the same time? Would someone like that be an interesting subject for a movie? Why or why not? Families can also discuss Neal's relationship with his girlfriend. Do they act like loving partners? What's with all the plotting against each other? Why does Hollywood have a penchant for relationships gone awry?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 19, 2007
DVD release date:July 7, 2008
Cast:Aaron Stanford, Christopher Lloyd, Zooey Deschanel
Director:Michael Lehmann
Studio:IFC Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Flakes was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Story of love and frustration isn't for kids.
  • Elf
    Peppy holiday favorite for both kids and parents.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?