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In-Lawfully Yours

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
In-Lawfully Yours Movie Poster Image
Sweet, wholesome faith-based romcom has positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Family loyalty, being open to new concepts and new people, honesty, determination, and learning from one's mistakes. There is strength and comfort in strong religious beliefs. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroine is feisty, loyal, generous, loving, and smart; she is willing to take risks and accept consequences for her actions; she grows spiritually over the course of the film. Leading man, a pastor, is solid, good-hearted, devoted to his community, and learns to listen to his heart. Villain is unredeemable. Some ethnic diversity.


Mild pratfalls: Man is pushed into an open grave, a scuffle between men in a diner, a woman falls.


A few sweet kisses. A married man is discovered to be having an affair in a hotel bedroom.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that In-Lawfully Yours is a comedy-romance that uses a light touch as it focuses on falling in love, grief, and one woman's religious awakening. The very lovable and unpredictable heroine, a spiritual novice, recovers from a painful divorce as she attempts to support and care for her ex-husband's newly widowed mom in a small town with a church at its center. A husband's infidelity (he's caught in the act in a hotel room) sets the story in motion; except for that, the movie is wholesome throughout. Comic action includes two men scuffling in a diner and a few harmless falls. Christian messages about faith, selflessness, solace, and honesty are gently integrated.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjdfi November 4, 2016

Cute, but major problems

The major problem in this movie is that the pastor had no problem dating an unsaved woman. We are supposed to be cheering on their relationship, but it's... Continue reading
Parent of a 15 and 18+ year old Written byProv 31 OH Gal October 20, 2016

Fresh and witty romance-comedy!

Great one-liners. I laughed so much despite such a sad story line. Joy, innocence, and love wrap up this sweet, clean romance-comedy with it's sad, serio... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 29, 2018

Confusing, boring, and CRINGY!

Well, this movie is super clean, to begin with. No swearing, no drugs, no violence... There is one scene where a married man is discovered by his wife to be ha... Continue reading

What's the story?

Though her ex-husband Chaz (Philip Boyd) is a scoundrel, Jesse (Chelsey Crisp) truly loves his mom, Naomi (Marilu Henner), in IN-LAWFULLY YOURS. So when Naomi's beloved husband dies, Jesse leaves New York City, committing herself to helping the older woman through the difficult time even if that means staying in small-town Virginia. It doesn't help when a life-changing move to NYC for Naomi is imminent, set up by the scoundrel himself. As the two women pack up the house, both saying good-bye to their pasts, Jesse finds herself drawn to the community, especially Naomi's church and its young, widowed pastor. Ben (Joe Williamson), still adjusting to his loss though years have passed, is a strong presence for both of them. Complications ensue when Chaz, with highly questionable motives, arrives to hurry things along. 

Is it any good?

Strong performances and a comic but gently heartfelt approach to delivering Christian values set this romance apart from often ponderous faith-based films. Chelsey Crisp brings warmth, humor, and honesty to Jesse in In-Lawfully Yours, despite the fact that she portrays an amazingly naive character who knows nothing about spirituality of any kind. That performance, along with the likable Joe Williamson as Ben, distracts from some very silly characters and plotting (the perpetually busybody church ladies and Jesse's constant interruptions during Ben's sermons) to make this an entertaining and engaging story. It's wholesome and fun, appropriate for romance lovers, tweens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the humor in In-Lawfully Yours, which is based on character rather than situation. What is the difference between the two types of comedy? 

  • What does the character of Chaz symbolize? What values does he represent? How do those values contrast with the way Ben chooses to live?

  • To serve their narratives, storytellers often portray small towns as ideal and big cities as loud and corrupt, because it's an easy way to set up conflicting values. In the real world, is that the case? Why, or why not?

Movie details

For kids who love romcoms

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