Forces of Nature

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Forces of Nature Movie Poster Image
Over-the-top romcom about marriage has dark, mature themes.
  • PG-13
  • 1999
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Forces of Nature explores positive and negative themes about loyalty and honesty in romantic relationships. Commitment and marriage are portrayed both as the ultimate positive sacrifice and as an outmoded, suffocating trap destined to make you miserable. Overall, the film's message errs on the side of commitment as worthy and honorable.

 

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although many adults in the film are well-intentioned, many offer bad or cynical advice while others make bad choices, are blatantly dishonest, assume false identities, scramble to avoid getting caught, and blatantly break commitments. Some adults try to point out bad behavior or rein others in, but overall main characters are presented as in a kind of moral crisis about their lives, and, as such, are not terribly admirable.

Violence

Minor peril involves a plane crash with minor injuries, a scuffle between men that involves punching, and a slew of natural disasters, including fires, hurricanes, and various kinds of inclement weather.

Sex

There is no direct nudity but plenty of sexuality and suggestiveness throughout. A woman and man perform a striptease at a gay bar in which a man undresses to his underwear while a woman writhes suggestively against him. A woman performs a striptease popping inflated balloons on her chest while wearing a thong and giving a man a suggestive lap dance. Men and women kiss passionately in a few scenes. A woman is shown undressing to shower, and the camera follows her back and legs before cutting away.

Language

Minor insulting language, gendered insults, and some profanity, such as "ungrateful bitch," "lying whore," "goddammit," "hell," and "shut up."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults are shown drinking at bars, strip clubs, and wedding-related ceremonies. A woman and man share a joint while driving; the man is arrested for drug possession. In one scene, a woman drinks straight from a bottle of wine while smoking a cigarette.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Forces of Nature is a romantic comedy about having cold feet before marriage and involves some illegal drug use (a character smokes a joint while driving; an arrest follows), drinking to cope, a bachelor strip scene (no nudity), a gay-bar striptease to raise money (no nudity), and a subplot of a mother who abandoned her child. Overall the movie presents a fairly cynical take on the horrors of marriage. Though the ending message is ultimately pro-commitment, the heavy themes, sometimes dark messages, and sad circumstances are better for teens and adults.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 18+ year old Written by[email protected] February 27, 2018

pretty good the ending should have been differnt.

its a good movie but the ending should have been different. the two characters that met should have ended up together anyway good movie.

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What's the story?

Ben (Ben Affleck) is happily soon-to-be married to Bridget (Maura Tierney), or so he thinks until a near-plane crash leaves him stuck traveling for two days with Sarah (Sandra Bullock), a whimsical stranger who has him questioning his vows, the meaning of commitment, and the nature of love itself. He has to solve this existential crisis before his wedding day -- assuming he won't be held up indefinitely by the series of disasters, natural and otherwise, striking left and right.

Is it any good?

The movie has a reasonable enough message at its core: Love is mysterious; no one knows what "meant to be" really means; and all good relationships are probably a mixture of hard work and luck. But the way it seeks to demonstrate that message is almost too far-fetched to follow. The disasters are ridiculous, the mix-ups improbable, and the chemistry near-nonexistent, and what's left in between the outsize events comes off as a pretty cynical take on love and marriage. That said, there may be a nugget of truth here about the messiness of life, the craziness of what it means to fall for someone, and the unique problems facing modern lovers -- that is, if parents can look past multiple strip clubs, bar scenes, nagging-wife jokes, marijuana use, and some not-so-laughable bad choices involving children.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way the film portrays marriage. What do you think the movie was trying to say about the institution? Was it good or bad? Do you think it was realistic?

  • What does it mean to have cold feet before a big event? Have you ever had cold feet? What do you think it says about how you really feel about the occasion?

  • What attitudes does the film express about true love or finding "the one"? Do you think this is an accurate film about matters of the heart? Why, or why not? How do men talk about marriage in the film? What about women?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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