A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Facing life's biggest challenges—like losing a loved one or confronting unhealthy patterns—can be hard but necessary. It helps to have friends for support. Art can be a means for processing feelings. Shutting oneself off from love and life is no answer to loss or disappointment. It's possible to love more than one person at a time.
Positive Role Models
Friends support each other through personal struggles, tragedy, unrequited love, and substance overuse.
The film offers a human portrait of both homosexual and heterosexual love. Relationships are shown to be complex, no matter their participants' gender or sexual identities, which are treated respectfully. (One joke does reference a "sad lesbian in a period drama," and a character suggests straight people think gay people will want to sleep with any other gay person.) A man says he agreed to an open marriage with his boyfriend in order not to lose the relationship he loved, but his partner "cheated" on the rules they'd laid out about it. A woman realizes she must get her affairs in order before she can be prepared to settle down with her presumptive fiancé. Lead cast includes White, Black, and Indian-heritage actors principally hailing from England, Canada, Ireland, and France. There is little to no discussion of nationality or ethnicity; it's a non-issue among best friends in the story.
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Violence & Scariness
A man dies in a car crash. His husband sees his body being removed from the car (not shown on-screen), then spends a year in deep grief. A funeral scene includes an emotional eulogy from the deceased's father. There's discussion of the deaths and grieving for other loved ones, and also mention of a man who was burned alive.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No graphic sex scenes in this film, but there's kissing as well as discussion of sex, affairs, sex films, shagging, "t-ts," implants, nude pictures on a phone, sensuality, a "homemade dildo," sex workers, and eliciting attention.
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"F--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "a--hole," "d--k," "hell," "c--k," "t-ts," "piss off," "spoiled brat," "slut," "sucks."
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Products & Purchases
Characters are very wealthy, especially the main character, who meets regularly with his financial adviser to manage his and his deceased husband's assets and wealth. Apartments and clothes are luxurious. A man can afford not to work yet takes his friends to Paris for a weekend, covering all expenses, including more than $1,000 for a night of karaoke.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink regularly, sometimes getting drunk and winding up passed out in strange places like a bus stop. There's discussion of taking molly and taking pills with alcohol. A woman smokes cigarettes regularly. A woman gets sober.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Good Grief is a film written and directed by Dan Levy that delves into the workings of grief. The film has language, sexual references, and heavy drinking. Levy plays a 30-something man whose husband is killed in a car crash. We are shown the after-effects of the crash from afar, and it's mentioned the man had to be pulled from the wreckage. We see his funeral. Characters seek love and stability, and they deal with the highs and lows of relationships. Best friends support each other through all this, and one must confront a drinking problem (lots of heavy drinking here as well as mention of "molly" and pills). There is kissing and discussion of sex, affairs, sex films, shagging, "t-ts," implants, nude pictures on a phone, sensuality, a "homemade dildo," and sex workers. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "a--hole," "d--k," "hell," "c--k," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Schitt's Creek's Dan Levy might have hoped for more from his feature directorial debut, but this drama has enough to make its characters, central ideas, and locations a compelling watch. Good Grief aims to craft a heartfelt portrayal of the processes of grief and adulting in your 30s. Its trio of lead characters, best friends with complicated and intertwined love lives, are the kind of flawed but always-there-for-you relationships you might hope to have in your own life. (The lovely and likable Negga and Patel make sure of this.) Likewise, Levy's gorgeously curated settings and wardrobes, beginning with an overly staged opening holiday party scene and traveling from London to a Parisian flat at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, dream up a privileged world that it's hard to blame anyone for wanting to live in.
His character does inhabit this world, which could make him less relatable for some viewers (imagine the Rose family of Schitt's Creek having never lost their privilege). Levy's aware of this: His character is called a "spoiled brat" by his best friend, and the third friend's partying goes from kooky to problematic. But the film isn't fully capable of piercing through its construction of this idealized world to convey the genuine study of love and loss it proposes. It's not until a scene deep into the tale where Levy and a new love interest, played by Arnaud Valois, share secrets over a late-night meal that it dawns on you the film hasn't yet allowed any of its characters this much profundity. The third act aims to remedy this by gently deconstructing what's been set up in the first two acts, just as its core threesome has to crack through the identities they've created to move on with their lives.
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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.
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