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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Ultimately a celebration of love, friendship, and learning to think with your heart, the movie also deals quite a bit in deception and manipulation (albeit done with the best of intentions). But characters feel bad about deceiving others and eventually come clean.
Positive Role Models
Catherine is a smart female character who sometimes doubts her ability to achieve her own successes but is loved and supported by most of those around her. Ed is an unabashed romantic who's led somewhat astray in the pursuit of love, but he has positive intentions and never wants to hurt anyone. Einstein and his buddies are portrayed as a charmingly meddlesome quartet who doesn't hesitate to compromise their ethics if it will help a friend.
Violence & Scariness
A man falls out of a tree (no injuries). Some fairly reckless-looking motorcycle riding, without helmets (not required during the movie's time period). A couple wrestles on the ground; a woman slaps a man on the face. The subjects of a time-deprivation experiment are loudly agitated. Talk of attaching electrodes to experimental mice's genitals.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing/embracing. Some innuendo (brief references to "premature ignition" and "making love"). References to a natural phenomenon in Maui that feels like a million kisses on your skin and/or an enormous tongue licking your entire body. Catherine's fiance rebuffs her attempts to get physical during a dinner party. Some longing looks. A character is briefly referred to as "the chimp pimp." Atoms are described once as "sexy."
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Infrequent use of words including "shut up," "hell," and "jeez." Barely heard use of "bitch." Some name-calling ("troglodyte," "idiot," "rat man") and crude references ("how are they hanging?"). One use of a derogatory term ("dago").
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Products & Purchases
Car brands are mentioned by men who work at a garage. Vintage issues of magazines are shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink wine and beer with dinner and toast with champagne at a reception.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I.Q. is a cute, quirky 1950s-set romantic comedy starring Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, and, as Albert Einstein, Walter Matthau. It's light and breezy, and there's hardly anything in the way of iffy content. You can expect a smattering of salty language ("shut up," "hell," and "jeez" are each said once), some kissing and embracing, and a bit of innuendo (a passing reference to "making love," a double-entendre joke about "premature ignition" in a car, and the like), but overall this is a tween-friendly story about learning to think with your heart as well as your head. Characters do deceive and manipulate others to achieve their ends, but their intentions are for the best, truth wins out in the end, and it's all quite lighthearted. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
First things first -- this winning romantic comedy doesn't make any claims on historical accuracy. Einstein never had a niece named Catherine Boyd, and his fellow scientist friends were actually significantly younger than they're portrayed here. But so long as you're in the market for fun over facts, this cute, breezy romcom is quite entertaining. Einstein and his buddies are, frankly, adorable as mischievous meddlers who take as much joy in matchmaking as they do in debating whether time actually exists. And, as their ringleader, Matthau is the perfect mix of cuddliness and knowing humor; he makes it plausible that one of history's greatest minds might actually have called out "wahoo" during a motorcycle ride.
The quartet of elderly friends really is the best part of the movie. Ryan and Robbins are winning enough as Ed and Catherine, but neither role feels like a stretch for the stars; even back in 1994, when I.Q. was released, audiences had seen Ryan do her "quirky pixie" thing several times before, and Robbins has never been a stranger to loopy, dreamy characters. Still, their road to romance is sweet, charming, and -- although predictable -- always upbeat.
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.