A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Warns against using humor as a defense mechanism -- i.e., using it to deflect real conversation or relationships -- but also advocates using a little humor to loosen up and make it easier for people to reach each other. A sub-theme champions the idea of appreciating a task as it's being performed, rather than constantly looking ahead to the finished product.
Positive Role Models
Though the characters are kind, likable, and funny, they're all fairly flawed and not particularly admirable. But over the course of the story, they do learn how to be better people and how to better communicate with one another.
Violence & Scariness
Arguing. Threat of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Jokes with heavy sexual innuendo/references. Flirting. An elderly man's naked backside is seen. Brief shower fantasy.
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A few uses of "f--k," several uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "d--k," "penis," "masturbating," "balls," and "fellatio." "Bucket heads" is used to describe Koreans.
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A supporting character says she once abused vodka and cocaine and is now in rehab. Pot smoking. Drinking sake. Glass of wine. Reference to a "drug dealer."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Humor Me is an indie dramedy about a playwright (Jemaine Clement) who's forced to move in with his father (Elliott Gould) and -- naturally -- learns important life lessons along the way. Language is the biggest issue, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," and more. The derogatory word "bucket heads" is also used. You can also expect heavy sexual innuendo and sex-related jokes, as well as flirting, a brief shower fantasy, and an old man's naked backside. A supporting character confesses to abusing cocaine and vodka and is now in rehab. Characters also smoke pot and drink sake, and glasses of wine are shown. There's a threat of violence and some arguing. A woman mentions that she's survived breast cancer. The movie is mildly funny and warmly likable, thanks to a fine cast, and is worth seeing, depending on your fondness (or tolerance) for silly jokes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's no shortage of movies about male sad-sacks who are stuck in a rut, but this one, though predictable, is mildly funny and warmly likable thanks to fine casting and sympathetic performances. Written and directed by Sam Hoffman, creator of the web series Old Jews Telling Jokes, Humor Me is very much based around the act of joke-telling, complete with a fictional hero, Zimmerman (Joey Slotnick), who only appears in black-and-white "joke" sequences. Nate's father communicates almost entirely in jokes, and it's a joke that breaks his relationship with his son -- as well as jokes that bring them back together.
The very funny Clement is, unexpectedly, cast in a non-funny role; Nate is a suffering straight man who simply takes loads of grief from others. Yet Hoffman is clever enough to surround him with funny people (Annie Potts and Willie C. Carpenter are especially fun), and he never seems too pathetic; rather, he's a great sounding board for some wonderfully silly jokes. Nate is also given weight by his genuinely affectionate and heartbreaking relationship with his young son, with whom he must communicate over FaceTime at 3 a.m. Of course, your ultimate enjoyment of Humor Me will largely depend on your love (or tolerance) for somewhat ridiculous setup-payoff humor. But those who "get it" will be on board.
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.