A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters lie and worry about lying.
Violence & Scariness
A car accident.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual activity and discussions (abortion, homosexuality, masturbation).
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Strong, in intimate use -- conversations and arguments.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, smoking, some drug use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes sexual language and situations (one discreet insinuation of masturbation), drinking, smoking, and some drug use. It features a violent start (a woman is hit by a car), frank discussions of abortion and artificial insemination, as well as characters' lies regarding parentage, sexual orientation, background (for instance, illegal immigration and marriage), and ambitions. Themes are designed for mature viewers, though difficult ideas are here turned into comedy (some of this is bittersweet). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Much like director Don Roos' other films, this so-so film features eccentric characters trying to construct stories for themselves, particularly stories that will make them feel happy. The movie's interest in storytelling -- as a way to order experience or engender emotions -- is at once formal (as split screens offer textual commentary on events and characters) and thematic (the characters lie to one another and themselves).
Jude provides a second framing device, alongside the textual comments. When she first sings for Otis, she's angry at another boy, a cheater, and performs Billy Joel's "Honesty," plaintively. At film's end, when the stories seem resolved -- Mamie's been hit by the car, Charley and Gil have faced a calamity, and Frank has proposed to Jude and then discovered her deceit -- Jude sings again, now set apart from the other characters, rejected and moved on to another town. In another, unidentified space, she sings another Joel anthem, "Just the Way You Are." Here, she just seems sad, far from her own desired ending.
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Our Editors Recommend
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