A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Friendsgiving is a bawdy ensemble comedy about female friendship and family that takes place on Thanksgiving Day. The characters are diverse in terms of sexuality, race, relationship status, and body size -- but they're also portrayed with a lot of stereotypes. Expect lots of raunchy humor from the opening scene, in which a character wearing dominatrix lingerie whips and talks dirty to her nearly naked new boyfriend. And when these women kiss and tell, they're bluntly graphic in detail and gestures. Drinking begins first thing Thanksgiving morning and continues well into the night, with some characters getting really drunk. A couple of them also trip on mushrooms; they make poor choices, but it's made to look fun nonetheless. Strong language is extreme and includes "c--t," "f--k," and lots more. Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, and Aisha Tyler star.
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What's the story?
When Thanksgiving looks like it will be a sad affair for freshly divorced actress Molly (Malin Akerman) and her baby, she invites her friends over to celebrate FRIENDSGIVING. Unfortunately, she's not the only one having a rough year, and all the guests -- including Abby (Kat Dennings), who can't get over a past breakup, and Lauren (Aisha Tyler), who's happily married with kids -- bring their own drama to the holiday dinner.
Is it any good?
There are surprisingly few movies about Thanksgiving, and one about friends celebrating together seems like it should be promising, but think twice before queuing up this crass, chaotic comedy. It boasts a cast full of comedic talent, is loosely based on a true story, and was executive-produced by comedy giant Ben Stiller, but it doesn't feel good to laugh at the misery of women in their 30s trying to navigate life.
It's hard to feel a sympathetic connection to any of these characters. Of the three "real" women, only one has the capability to be relatable: Abby, who only recently realized she was gay and is grappling with her loneliness. She has no children or significant other and lives far away from her family. So she envisioned a perfect holiday with her lifelong best friend, Molly, who just happens to be a movie star. Third wheel Lauren, meanwhile, seems to have the perfect life -- and despite getting schnockered by drinking too much, she really has no other dimension. The other characters are unbelievable over-the-top sketch comedy creations who don't offer insights or depth; they just get in the way of the core duo/trio and create noise. And the way the friends dish about their sexual experiences in crude terms and gestures might be funny in real life, but it could also be offensive to many viewers. In other words, in a multigenerational setting, your family will probably be grateful if you skip this film.
Talk to your kids about ...
How does this film depict its gay characters? How does it compare to other films you've seen with gay characters? Why is accurate representation important in the media?
Did you find the movie's crude jokes funny, or tacky? What's the difference, and why do you think different types of humor appeal to different people?
How does the movie handle sex, nudity, and innuendo? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Why do you think some people experience depression during the holidays?
- In theaters: October 23, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: October 27, 2020
- Cast: Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Aisha Tyler
- Director: Nicol Paone
- Studio: Saban Films
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, Holidays
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude sexual content and language throughout, and for drug use
- Last updated: October 22, 2021
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