Good Newwz

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
Good Newwz Movie Poster Image
Slick Bollywood comedy about IVF has adult themes.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 132 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Overall message is not to judge a book by its cover. Teaches importance of embracing people's differences and that we're ultimately far more similar than we are different. Communication and empathy are important themes. Weight and dieting are discussed on several occasions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Varun and Deepti behave in a snobbish and judgmental manner. Varun lies to Deepti and behaves selfishly, refusing to make sacrifices to have a family and showing very little compassion or understanding. He drinks, smokes, gambles. By comparison, Honey and Monika -- though supposedly the zany and uncouth pair -- are caring and supportive of each other, traits which Varun and Deepti come to realize are more important than anything.

Violence

Voices are raised, drinks thrown, glasses smashed during a drunken argument, but nobody is hurt. Mention of miscarriage and abortion.

Sex

Sex is mostly mentioned in relation to trying for a baby, with sperm, ovulation, IVF, miscarriage, and abortion all discussed. Medical scenes of insemination and birth. Talk of faking orgasms, sexual positions. Sex is implied -- including in a plane toilet -- but not seen. The covers of adult magazines are shown and dirty talk mentioned when one character gives a semen sample. Some mild flirtation, suggestive dance moves during musical numbers.

Language

Occasional language includes "s--t" and "f--k," as well as "smart ass," "d--k," and "damn."

Consumerism

Brands are mentioned in passing, including Uber, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Multiple scenes in a Volkswagen showroom.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer, wine, whiskey at bars, parties, at home. One scene where two characters become inebriated and drunkenly get into an argument, abusing the bar owner and smashing a glass. Cigarettes are smoked on a number of occasions, with implication that one may contain pot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Good Newwz is a Bollywood romcom about two couples who decide to have IVF treatment to try to start a family. The dialogue is a mix of Hindi and English, making the subtitles easier than usual to follow. Because of the main subject of the movie, sex is discussed often -- mostly in a biological sense, though some mention is made of sexual pleasure for the sake of humor. There is some strong language, including "s--t" and "f--k." Miscarriage, abortion, adoption, and premature birth are some of the more adult themes introduced. Weight and dieting are also mentioned a few times. There is some depiction of drinking, including a drunken argument that results in smashed glasses. Characters also smoke, and there is a suggestion that one character smokes pot. Despite this, the movie is mostly lighthearted, energetic, and funny, with bold, likable characters and a fast, farcical pace.

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What's the story?

In GOOD NEWWZ, sophisticated career couple Deepti Batra (Kareena Kapoor) and her husband, Varun (Akshay Kumar), visit an IVF clinic after struggling to have a family. But they soon discover that Varun's sample has been mixed up with the sample from a man with the same surname. Now Deepti is pregnant with the biological child of Honey Batra (Diljit Dosanjh), and his wife, Monika (Kiara Advani), is pregnant with Varun's child. Polar opposites in every way, the two couples must decide whether to keep the babies and, if they have their children, whether to incorporate the biological fathers into their lives. Honey and Monika go all out to become friends with their fellow Batras, moving into the same building and smothering the other couple. But Varun and Deepti want them to sign a contract to stay out of their lives for good. Can they come to an agreement for the sake of their children, or is it bad news for a happily ever after?

Is it any good?

From the camera panning across the Mumbai cityscape scored by contemporary music to the odd couple dynamics and the juvenile sex jokes, this is a modern romcom with universal appeal. Bolstered by Bollywood stars Kumar and Kapoor, and with equally strong performances from Dosanjh and Advani, the slick, farcical comedy keeps up the pace from start to finish. The characters are familiar. Kumar and Kapoor are the stylish city workaholics who have become completely disconnected from those outside their high-flying lifestyle. Meanwhile Dosanjh and Advani get to have a little more fun with their larger-than-life Punjabi characters, whose incorrect use of English brings the other Batras great amusement.

Tracking the pregnancies side by side, Good Newwz offers a poignant disparity between the way the couples communicate, entering well-trodden territory about priorities and what's important in life. This allows for some heartwarming and tear-jerking scenes -- particularly toward the end of the movie. Physical gags are as well executed as one-liners, and energy resonates from all four main actors. Supporting characters are equally well drawn, particularly IVF doctors Anand and Sandhya Joshi (Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra). The two main song and dance numbers are vibrant, colorful, and full of personality, which perfectly sums up this Bollywood hit.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Good Newwz's attitude toward sex. What does it mean for the characters involved? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • Discuss the movie's humor. What made you laugh? Can you think of any Hollywood movies with a similar sense of humor?

  • What does the movie say about the nature of family? What are some of the different -- and sometimes unconventional -- structures that make up modern families?

  • The character of Varun goes on the biggest journey. How does he change from the start of the movie to the end?

  • Which couple do you think are happier and why?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Bollywood

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