I'm Reed Fish

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
I'm Reed Fish Movie Poster Image
Kid-friendly romcom lures but doesn't hook.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Reed, who's engaged, kisses a woman who's not his fiancée; guy friends jokingly threaten each other with bodily harm; in one incident, two male friends get in a prolonged fistfight (though no one draws blood).


Two men brawl clumsily, shoving each other, rolling around on the floor, and even removing one shoe each as if to swat at each other. One character talks about "hurting" another through martial arts, but nothing happens; the same person also breaks a board with a punch (it's a deliberate stunt, so no one gets hurt). Two women scream at each other briefly over a man's affections.


An engaged couple paw each other and make out (sex later is implied). Another pair kisses nearly every time they're onscreen together (quick pecks and some long smooches, but nothing in close-up). An engaged man flirts with a woman who's not his fiancée; later, he kisses her and she eagerly reciprocates.


"Hell," "damn," and "Jesus" are about as bad as it gets. In fact, there's even a joke about the word "frig" (as in "frigging") being too colorful for a character who's somewhat uptight.


Little to speak of except for vintage products (like rotary phones and mics, which are prominently placed in the radio station).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer and hard liquor are served at bars and restaurants and champagne appears at a wedding, where Fish has a little too much; Fish and his future father-in-law smoke "Cubans."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's very little to worry about in this earnest romantic comedy. The characters are all well-intentioned, and even when they behave badly, it's only because they're human, not because they want to hurt anyone (this is made very clear). Teens who know star Jay Baruchel from Judd Apatow's Knocked Up may be surprised that there's no foul-mouthed guy humor here. Instead, it has themes about finding yourself and making authentic choices. Some drinking, but only by those of legal age, and one heavy make-out session.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypauly77 December 27, 2011

PG doesn't mean it's okay

This movie is well done for the most part, funny and engaging ... to a point. The main character, Reed Fish, wavers between two women throughout - and simply de... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byxlyricallies7x April 9, 2008


i loved this movie. it was very clean, and it has a really good story and a cool feel.
one thing though- the language is worse than the review says. i noticed a... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

What's the story?

Who is Reed Fish? For starters, he's the movie's screenwriter. He's also the titular hero (Jay Baruchel), a gangly twentysomething guy who's so dutiful, nice, and dependable that even his future father-in-law calls him a "good boy." To Kate (Alexis Bledel), he's a loving fiancé. And to everyone else in the tiny town of Mud Meadows, Reed Fish is his father's son, which means that since his dad (and mom, too, actually) is long gone, it's up to him to step into the role of town chronicler as the voice of its radio station and host of its public-access cable show. But ask Reed Fish who he is, and he won't be able to answer. He's so busy fulfilling everyone else's expectations that he doesn't know himself. Until an old high school crush, Jill (Schuyler Fisk), stops in one summer and forces him to find out, that is ...

Is it any good?

There's a lot to like about I'M REED FISH: the movie's appealing vintage look, the sweetly eccentric supporting cast, the small flashes of cinematic brilliance. Unfortunately, all of this doesn't add up to a loveable whole. The quirky comedy unfolds with oddball twists and turns, but it's lethargic, lacking the jauntiness that typically energizes indie rom-coms. It's as if the real-life Fish and director Zackary Adler prepared a feast but forgot to season it. Maybe they shouldn't have doctored it up with so much quirk in the first place.

Adler does draw decent performances from his cast, including Baruchel and Bledel (and DJ Qualls as a love-strong martial arts fanatic is hilarious.) But it's Fisk who stands out -- she's so natural and refreshing (with a great singing voice, too!) in the role of Jill that when Fish starts to make choices that are far removed from the life script already written for him, it's not only understandable, but applause worthy -- if only a little bit.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about expectations and how they're set. How does a young person decide who he or she becomes? Do parents wield the most influence? What about neighbors and friends? Also, what role does the media play in creating and setting expectations? In TV shows and movies, does it seem like there's one fork in the road leading to a specific choice that determines what happens in the future? Is that how it is in real life?

Movie details

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