Parents' Guide to

French Exit

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Iffy messages in absurdist comedy with drinking, language.

Movie R 2021 110 minutes
French Exit Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Smart script and surprise ending...a charmer

A touching film that only Pfeiffer can pull off so well. She excels in capturing the spirit of the character and takes everyone on a ride of loneliness with a lot of humor and stoicism. She is made of tough stuff and forges ahead trying to manipulate the world in order to be at peace. Pfeiffer has the chops to deliver solidly on this character offering her dignity, grace, and volatile determination. Smart script, always a pleasure to watch a film where I do not know how it is going to end.
age 16+

So refreshing to see a movie with Acting! and not guessing the ending in the first 5 minutes, real life( a very french style movie) , and not seeing 50 hairy thugs with large guns being blown up in the first 30 seconds of the film!! it took me a little time to work out the ending, !!

This is for America! stop molycodaling your children , encorage them to travel in the world, and see for themselves the good and the bad sides.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Pfeiffer embodies her insistently eccentric character with gusto in this dark comedy that doesn't always make sense. Frances is a socialite who lives in a lavish New York home and throws money around like it's confetti -- when she runs out of funds, she literally doesn't see the point in continuing to live. She isn't depressed so much as in a mood. Her character is arrogantly odd and defiantly confident. She has lived a glamorous life and can't stop living it, even when she no longer has the means to do so -- so, there may be a message here for teen viewers on the importance of sticking to a budget. But that message might feel hollow, because we also see that after Frances liquidates her estate, she once again has stacks of cash that she spends frivously without much thought for herself or her son.

As played by Hedges, Malcolm has the personality of a dry ham sandwich. For the thoughtful, there's much that can be read into this. Families may want to talk about how a boy who was abandoned by a mother whom he reads about in the newspaper would behave after she finally retrieves him and starts showing him affection. Why Malcolm is unable to get a job at any point to support them, though, is a conundrum that feels more like a plot hole. That's one of several nagging issues, including the behavior of the other characters. At least Frances' cat tells us why he runs away (yes, the cat speaks, sort of). The characters aren't misfits, but they're not based in reality. Their inauthenticy is most noticeable when Frances' friend Joan (Susan Coyne) appears: She's the sanity, reason, and normalcy stepping into a wacky puddle. But this is Frances' story, and she makes a memorable impression. The method she chooses to make her "French exit" carries the mysterious allure that you'd expect from someone so magnificent -- and for parents with teens who are depressed or struggling, there's the chance that Frances' choices could make a strong impression on the impressionable.

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