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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
On one hand, the movie gives viewers a unique glimpse of the political jockeying that goes on behind the scenes. But on the other, the picture it paints isn't always favorable to the system. For instance, viewers see how political candidates are trained to minimize public-opinion fallout by skirting around potentially damaging issues and redirecting questions.
Positive Role Models
Some characters are, for the most part, honest and upstanding and endeavor to do their best for the country's future, while others resort to scheming and tricky methods to maintain a positive public image. Of course, it's tough to put too much faith in the movie's presentation of any of the characters since they're based on insiders' opinions of the subjects and interpretations of events more than they are on the facts themselves.
"Goddammit," "f--k," "ass," "s--t," "hell," "damn," and "prick" are audible.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Beer is mentioned in one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Game Change is a political docudrama that centers on Sarah Palin's involvement in Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Needless to say, the content isn't going to grab most teens' attention, but if yours is particularly curious about the story, there's some merit to the movie, thanks to its unique look at the behind-the-scenes strategizing that results in what voters actually see from political candidates. Game Change offers an intriguing look at the election process, and it encourages critical thinking about our political system and the players in it. As for the players in this story, their characterizations are subject to exaggeration, so remind teens that what they're watching is a fictionalized version of historic events and people. Content-wise, strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "ass," "goddammit," and "hell") is the primary concern. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Game Change offers viewers a no-holds-barred glimpse at closed-door politics. Even taking into account the assumption that many of the story's finer details are embellished (or perhaps even fabricated) for dramatic effect, there's a lot of value to seeing the basics of how things unfold behind the scenes. From the process behind selecting a presidential running mate to the strategic training to perform well in a debate, Game Change makes you think long and hard about how politicians are groomed for marketability -- sometimes at the expense of actual ability -- especially in an era that's ruled by the unforgiving nature of instant news via the Internet.
It's easy to forget that while it's based on the emotionally charged real-life events of the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change is a fictionalized interpretation crafted from the accounts of some of the major players in the Republican camp. It focuses most intently on Palin, casting her in alternating sympathetic and critical lights and re-raising questions about the strategy behind her selection as McCain's right-hand woman. It's been said by some that Game Change is another attempt to discredit her, but in many ways it accomplishes the opposite, giving viewers a closer look at the momentous challenges she faced as an unprepared national candidate thrust onto the biggest stage in politics. In doing so, the movie also sends another important reminder to viewers: Politicians, for all the pomp and circumstance surrounding them, are just people, and despite their efforts to make voters forget it, they make mistakes just like everyone else.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.