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Grumpier Old Men
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grumpier Old Men is a sequel to Grumpy Old Men, a comic vehicle for Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in their later years. It's filled with the same comic pratfalls, swearing ("bastard," "crap," "s--t," "goddamn," "hell"), naughty dialogue ("he's a groper," "wanna see my salami"), insult humor ("putz," "bonehead," "d--k-head," "slut,""moron," "schmuck"), and sexual innuendo as its predecessor. Characters smooch, talk about the possibility of sex, and playfully kiss and embrace throughout. No actual nudity is shown, but there is some revealing clothing and a character appears to be nude when he poses for his artist-wife. Wine, beer, grappa are consumed in numerous scenes; one character drinks to excess and smokes. Identifiable products appear in scene after scene. (Spoiler alert: a featured character dies and is mourned.)
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What's the story?
When GRUMPIER OLD MEN opens, six months have passed since the happy ending in Grumpy Old Men. John (Jack Lemmon) and Ariel (Ann-Margret) are enjoying married life; Max (Walter Matthau) and John are maintaining a comfortable (if still teasing) friendship; and John and Max are planning the wedding of John's daughter Melanie and Max's son Jacob, who've loved each other for a lifetime. What could go wrong? Maria, a fiery Italian chef (Sophia Loren) -- that's what goes wrong! Maria wants to turn their beloved Bait Shop into a restaurant, but John and Max won't have it. They plague her with pranks and scares until, suddenly, Max realizes that this amazing woman is actually falling for him. Sparks fly as "aging" Boy meets "middle-aged" Girl. But, in grand movie tradition, events intervene and Boy loses Girl. In fact, all the relationships are in crisis. Will Ariel forgive John? Will Max and Maria discover they can't live without each other? Will Melanie and Jacob tie the knot at last? Are the fish biting in Minnesota?
Is it any good?
Audiences expecting the earlier film's potty-mouthed swearing; jokes about aging, sex and genitals; and a barrage-like Insult-O-Rama will not be disappointed. The story is corny and predictable; the characters are thin; logic and real emotion are nowhere to be found. But Sophia Loren is stunning and the amiable, adorable Lemmon-Matthau duet is never entirely tiresome. Kids -- of all ages -- will most likely have no interest in the tired antics and sexual preoccupation of these cartoon senior citizens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about all the pranks in this film. How can we determine when a prank is simply fun and when it becomes dangerous?
Was the ending a surprise for you? Think about the scenes that led up to the ending. How did the filmmakers fool you?
Did you notice all the products (food, beer, stores) that were on screen? Why do you think companies like to show their labels in movies? How is it like or different from commercials and advertising?
Themes & Topics
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