A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie shows how motherhood is complex and unique to different people. Women aren't just defined by motherhood, they are individuals first and foremost. Forgiveness and understanding are demonstrated but only after a long campaign of revenge. An extramarital affair plays a key part in the plot.
Positive Role Models
Sally cares for her pregnancy, attends birthing classes, and is positive about the birth of her child in spite of the absence of a father. She is determined to go it alone, presenting an empowered, independent working mother. Dorian, Angus, and Beatrice are motivated by revenge, at least initially, and go to extreme lengths to try and get it.
The female characters demonstrate will and determination, although some use it in illicit ways, such as encouraging people to commit murder. The women play the most forthright roles and inspire respect and authority from their male counterparts. But arguably the wronged wife behaving irrationally and, in this case, dangerously, plays up to damaging stereotypes about women. Single parents are portrayed with confidence and independence. The men are presented as amenable underdogs but are prepared to stick up for the women characters when they are disrespected. One supporting character is a Black male who works in a burger restaurant. His strong work ethic and efficiency mean he is responsible for training the new employees. There are a significant number of Black extras -- some with minor speaking parts -- such as a Black female bus driver who offers words of advice. The movie presents a community of people who vary in age and race.
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Violence & Scariness
Multiple attacks and plots to harm, all in the name of revenge. A Cobra attack helicopter is used to shoot at a character, but no bullets connect. However, a character dies of a heart attack from the shock of the attack. An attempt to gas a character's house using car exhaust fumes is intervened before any fatalities happen. A character faints as a result but is resuscitated. Suggestion of poisoning food in yet another attempt at revenge. Handguns are shown but not fired. A character, who appears drunk, holds up a burger restaurant with an unloaded rifle. A scene takes place in a morgue where a prepared dead body is shown -- characters try to steal the dead person's suit.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extramarital affair that leads to a pregnancy. Some flirting, kissing. A character makes a sexual comment, "you just want to poke dents in the top of my baby's head," in rejection to a sexual advance. A pack of condoms are found and are suspected of belonging to a character having an affair.
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Language includes "s--t," "drunk ass," "whore," and "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Brands are not mentioned by name, but Pepsi is served in a burger restaurant.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character drinks a beer in bed. A character smokes a cigarette out of a car window. While seemingly under the influence of alcohol, a character holds up a restaurant armed with an unloaded rifle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Home Fries is a romcom about an extramarital affair that leads to characters seeking revenge through various attacks and plots. Far-fetched to the extreme, brothers Dorian (Luke Wilson) and Angus (Jake Busey) use a Cobra attack helicopter to scare -- not kill -- their stepfather who is having an affair with Sally (Drew Barrymore) and who is pregnant with their child. The plan backfires when he is literally scared to death and dies of a heart attack. After suspecting their deed was overheard, a new pursuit begins to eliminate those who may know too much, going as far as trying (and failing) to gas a woman's house with carbon monoxide. There is also some brandishing of guns -- although none are fired -- and the aforementioned helicopter is used again in yet another attempt at revenge. A scene in a morgue sees a character taking the jacket belonging to a corpse. There is some swearing, including "s--t," "whore," and "crap." The iconic cast and progressive female leads provide ripe talking points. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With its thick plot and outlandish premise, this bizarre romcom unfortunately doesn't quite land its intention to be the zany, forward-thinking comedy it aspires to be. Home Fries does, however, offer some satisfying performances from some of '90s Hollywood's iconic stars. It also provides an early glimpse to the talents of writer Vince Gilligan who went on to write and direct the acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad.
Rare for its time, the themes of unwed pregnancy and empowered, complex female leads, place the movie in the canon of unsuspecting feminist films. All of which could lead to a fruitful discussion on female representation and motherhood. Alternatively sit back and simply enjoy this madcap ride of a movie.
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.
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