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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's possible to start new and find love in middle age. Sometimes death or change can open up new opportunities. People shouldn't be judged based on race, nationality, age, or sexual orientation, and friendships and relationships can span these differences. Kids can be resilient in the face of hardships.
Positive Role Models
Characters show forgiveness and vulnerability. Two single adults support each other in positive ways and demonstrate genuine friendship. A mother was emotionally and physically distant with her young daughter, who as a tween opted to live instead with her father, a "playboy" who took her with him regularly to discos.
The film is shot in a mix of French and English as the main characters are from Paris. There's some diversity among the cast and several gay characters. Adults are accepting about a range of sexualities. One of the lead characters runs a drag club.
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Violence & Scariness
A child is more or less abandoned at a boarding school by her emotionally cold mother. At the school, the child is lonely and one day is forced to sleep at the kitchen table until she finishes her meal (which may or may not be made with her pet rabbit). When the mother is elderly and dying, there's discussion of giving her an injection from which she won't wake up. A man rehearses lines from a film about blowing a woman's head off. A woman seems to suggest men used to flash kids outside a boarding school. A man has a serious allergic reaction and has to be stabbed with an EpiPen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussion and some depiction of sex throughout film as two adults, one gay and one straight, meet people through a dating app and talk about having sex. Discussion includes terms/concepts like getting laid, "f--king," "slut," "MILF," anal, gangbang, being horny, eating someone out, being a "playboy," and waxing. The main female character has been celibate for three years. She says there's no word for "date" in French, it's either you "f--k" or you don't. She has a sexy dream where she's writhing on a car in a bodysuit and a man is showering behind her. Sex scenes show men and women topless, in one case a man is under the covers apparently providing oral sex to another man. A date with a nudist shows two people conversing naked; the women's breasts are seen but other private parts are covered. Two people go to a clinic to be tested for STDs including HIV and herpes.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bitch," "d--k," "ass," "screw," "Chrissake," "idiot," "jerk," "geez," "stupid," "God." The film was reviewed in English and French with English subtitles.
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Products & Purchases
Alexa, Mac, and Instagram are seen or discussed prominently, other brands and establishments are glimpsed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke joints, drink alcohol, take edibles, and talk about being high or tipsy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Love America is a movie about adults made for an adult audience. The middle-aged characters and subject matter likely would not interest younger audiences, but the film also has extensive sexual content and discussion as well as language and drug use. A straight woman and a gay man seek partners via a dating app and discuss sex throughout the film, using terms/concepts like getting laid, "f--king," "slut," "MILF," anal, gangbang, being horny, eating someone out, being a "playboy," and waxing. Language in English and English subtitles also includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "d--k," "ass," "screw," "Chrissake," "idiot," "jerk," "geez," "stupid," and "God." Sex scenes show men and women topless, and in one case a man is under the covers apparently providing oral sex to another man. A woman goes on a date with a nudist. At one point, two people go to a clinic to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Adults smoke joints, drink alcohol, take edibles, and talk about being high or tipsy. The woman is reconciling with having felt abandoned by her mother as a child. When the mother is elderly and dying, there's discussion of giving her an injection from which she won't wake up. The characters show forgiveness, vulnerability, and genuine friendship inclusive of different skin colors, ages, and sexual orientations. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite excellent actors and story material with plenty of potential, this French dramatic comedy doesn't succeed as a drama or as a comedy. The humor in I Love America is especially disappointing, considering how rich the possibilities were with a 50-year-old Parisian in Los Angeles on dates with strangers met through a dating app. One encounter with a Danish nudist is novel and funny, but other scenes are bland and predictable. It would seem the film aims to shock with its frankness about sexuality, but that's a tall order for a tale set in contemporary LA, and ultimately even the attempt feels outdated.
The dramatic elements involve forging new love in middle age as well as reconciling with one's past. Some of Lisa's story is presumably autobiographical for writer-director Azuelos, the daughter of French singer Marie Laforet, who passed away in 2019. The film reenacts the past in flashbacks, but considering the acting talent Azuelos had on hand, this feels like a waste and the scenes at the boarding school in particular get repetitive. Lisa's relationship with John strikes a genuine note and deserved more screen time, as did Luka's authentic love connection glossed over at the end. The acting in this film is very natural, and Marceau is a pro, making I Love America not exactly lovable but at least watchable.
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.