A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes the idea of parents and kids needing each other.
Positive Role Models
Sydney is smart, supportive, trusting. Her sister is smarter, supportive, not trusting. Others simply don't behave realistically enough or unselfishly enough to be role models.
Violence & Scariness
Nick is subjected to a beating by kids in a karate class (played for laughs). He's also punched by an angry ex-girlfriend, all for laughs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual theme throughout: Nick has slept with so many women that he has to go through a long process of elimination to figure out with whom he might have fathered a child years in the past.
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Occasional profanity includes "s--t," "ass," "crap," "bats--t." Also some sexual terms such as "gigolo" and "slut."
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Products & Purchases
Material success is clearly held up as a virtue; those without it are mocked.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink wine and beer at a wedding rehearsal; a priest gets drunk; a man drinks bourbon at a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Hate Kids is a comedy about a snarky, soon-to-be-married author named Nick (Tom Everett Scott) who never wants to be a father but then unexpectedly discovers he has a teenage son (Julian Feder). Expect some swearing ("ass," "s--t," "crap," etc.) and themes related to Nick's past promiscuity (he slept with a lot of women). A couple of scenes with hitting/punching are played for laughs, and there's some drinking by adults, at least once to excess. Tituss Burgess and Rachel Boston co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The dialogue is pat and the story beats predictable, but there are a few yuks in this comedy, largely thanks to skilled supporting players. From its title, you know immediately how I Hate Kids is going to turn out. Scott has some enjoyable moments as a reformed lothario who's reluctantly revisiting a bunch of women he encountered and abandoned in the past. Burgess, as you might expect, milks laughs out of facial expressions and his relationship with his cute dog. Sydney and Kelly's scenes produce the film's best chemistry, with Seehorn's unrelenting skepticism of Nick stealing much of the movie. Casting director Mary Jo Slater also scored with some of the bit players, including Arden Myrin as an unhinged ex and Rico E. Anderson as a hot-and-cold CHP officer. And for some reason, the wonderful Marisa Tomei shows up for a minute.
Many of the gags fall flat, given their obvious setups (gee, wonder what's going to happen when Nick talks to a karate instructor he dumped?). But the main problem with I Hate Kids is that the emotional beats are taken for granted. Despite a game turn by Boston, Nick and Sydney have no rapport. We know from the start that the film will be about Nick's evolution into wanting to be a father and that Sydney will probably arrive at the same place. But their journeys aren't convincing. There's no emotional reality. Similarly, when Mason is potentially meeting his mother for the first time -- over and over, with different candidates -- there's never a sense of anticipation or disappointment for either him or Nick, so there isn't any for viewers. I Hate Kids doesn't make much of an effort to persuade us that its characters love each other, and it doesn't do more than move us to the occasional chuckle.
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