Friended to Death

  • Review Date: May 2, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Facebook satire mixes positive messages with profanity.
  • Review Date: May 2, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Friended to Death questions what it means to be a friend in today's society. Michael learns that real connections are more meaningful than the "friends" you make online. Teens can also see how important it is to stay safe while using social media by knowing who you've added to your network, protecting your passwords, understanding how social media posts can affect you professionally, and not believing everything on the Internet.

Positive role models

Although his mother still treats him like a child, Emile is the most practical character when it comes to balancing real life with social media. As one of Michael's only friends, he constantly poses questions and situations that should make Michael think twice about his social media activity. He eventually gains his independence and, when he starts his own business, he understands that social media -- when used responsibly -- has its benefits.

Violence

A fist fight in the bathroom among the parking meter officers. A couple of punches are thrown between Kev and Emile. A woman is also tied up in the closet with her mouth taped shut to prevent her from spilling Michael's secret.

Sex

Michael occasionally makes crude sexual references -- like someone's post on his Facebook "ejaculating exclamation points" as well as comments about "banging chicks."

Language

The characters insult each other throughout the movie and use lots of strong language, including "f--k," "f----r," "s--t," "bitch," "hell," "crap," "bastard," "douche," "douche bag," "asswipe," "stupid," "punk," "loser," "dips--t," "schmuck," "d--kbag," etc. Michael also likes to "speak in text" and uses phrases like "s my d," "bs," "wtf," "gtfo," and "lmfao."

Consumerism

Apple products -- iPhone, Apple TV, iPod, laptops -- are used throughout the movie. Facebook plays a huge role, of course, and there are mentions of Twitter, Four Square, and other social media sites.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Joel drinks heavily to cope with Michael's "death," and there are a couple references to drug overdoses.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Friended to Death is a dark comedy about a man obsessed with social media who fakes his death online to see how many of his "friends" show up to his funeral. Although the movie offers important lessons regarding Internet safety, the frequent strong language -- including variations of words like "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "douche bag" -- and some crude sexual jokes make the movie a better fit for older teens and up. One character drinks heavily to deal with the loss of his "friend," and there are a couple of references to drug overdoses. The violence is minor (a couple of dramatic punches between characters and a fist fight in the bathroom) and seems cartoonish, though one of the female characters in the movie is tied up in a closet with her mouth taped to prevent her from telling the truth.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Michael Harris (Ryan Hansen) loves two things: giving out parking tickets and using social media. After losing his dream job and his BFF, Joel (Zach McGowan), on the same day, Michael turns to his ex-coworker, Emile Lewis (James Immekus). The two form an unlikely "friendship" when Michael decides to fake his own death in an elaborate online scheme to see how many of his friends actually care about him. As his web of lies begins to unravel, Michael must learn what it truly means to be a friend both online and offline, or, as Michael might say "IRL," in real life.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In her bro-mantic comedy FRIENDED TO DEATH, director Sarah Smick shows just how easy it is to fall prey to the delusions of "friendships" created via social media. The plot, while rather simple, makes it very clear that Michael is a narcissistic jerk who gets a major reality check that forces him to reevaluate his relationships with others. Teens will understand Michael's "speak in text" acronyms and laugh at the characters' many "bro" nicknames, but the movie's strong language does undercut its ability to showcase messages about friendship and Internet safety in a way that would be age appropriate for tweens and younger teens. Instead of comforting his "bro," But, language issues aside, Smick offers an important reminder to create meaningful friendships instead of isolating yourself in a social media bubble.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Michael's obsession with social media. Do you think social media plays a role in people's self-esteem? What are some ways to make sure the impact isn't a harmful one?

  • What do you think it means to be a friend in today's society, where "friends" are just a click away?

  • It's easy to laugh at Michael's obnoxious posts and obsession with being "liked," but it's important to remember to be smart about your online presence. What steps can you take to make sure that you're safe online?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 2, 2014
DVD release date:December 2, 2014
Cast:Ryan Hansen, James Immekus, Zach McGowan
Director:Sarah Smick
Studio:Green Step Productions
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language including some crude sexual references

This review of Friended to Death was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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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.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byHaithamB May 10, 2014
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Don't come to its funeral!

Despite being in its own world, Friended to Death has overused friendship messages, so give me something new I can use.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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