Kabluey

 
Dramedy with mature themes is light on substance.
  • Review Date: July 7, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Marital infidelity, family discord, neglect -- it's all here, but the film has heart, and its main character is full of good intentions.

Violence

A clearly enraged child attacks his minder with toys and fists; later, he and his brother are shown trying to poison him with scrubbing cleanser. It's played in jest, but still ... Also, two people confront a couple on a tryst, which leads to some pushing, shoving, and screaming. The Iraq war is referenced more than once through radio and TV clips -- its presence looms over everyone.

Sex

A woman has an affair with her boss; they're shown cuddling together and about to kiss. Another woman is shown in her bra and skirt, right before she embarks on a liaison. A man's backside is revealed accidentally, but not during sex. A character is shown urinating, though no body parts are exposed.

Language

Quite colorful, including everything from "a--hole" and "bitch" to "j-zz" and "f--k."

Consumerism

Signage for BluNexion, an Internet company that has Kabluey as its mascot; Mustang GT decals are visible on a car, Wishbone salad dressing, Lexus, various supermarket signs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character smokes at work; Salman drinks a beer at work.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this movie features child actors, centers around a family with young children, and even has a costumed character that appeals to children, it's rife with mature themes like infidelity, failure, and abandonment. One young character seems particularly enraged and forlorn and exhibits his frustrations by hitting and throwing objects. There's drinking, lots of swearing, and some partial nudity (though it's not sexual in nature).

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What's the story?

Salman (Scott Prendergast) is a 32-year-old with no direction in life, let alone a job. But his brother's on extended deployment in Iraq, and his sister-in-law, Leslie (Lisa Kudrow), is at her wit's end caring for their two rowdy sons and fending off her loneliness and terror. Though Salman and his brother are estranged, he moves in with Leslie to help her out and even takes a job donning a giant blue costume, as the character Kabluey, to hand out fliers so he can help pay for daycare when it's clear he's not up to the task. But while Salman works to defy his slacker status and make things right, it's not without plenty of pain and suffering.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Well-intentioned and at times inspired, KABLUEY is too slight to make any lasting impression. The script, written by Prendergast, who also directs and stars, clearly shows ambition. But the setup is far too thin to sustain the movie, despite the presence of Kudrow and a strong supporting cast that includes Teri Garr, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Christine Taylor. It's beautifully filmed -- scenes in which a costumed Salman stomps through arid fields scream of the drudgery of life -- but a little too film-school; it definitely has more style than substance. Nevertheless, Kudrow is strong (though this is more of the same from her) and Prendergast is clearly talented.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the Kabluey represents. How does Salman change as he spends more time running around as Kabluey? Families can also discuss Salman's reason for helping out. Was it just because he was at a dead end? What does he gain from helping? At what point did his attitude change, and why? What about Leslie? Does she seem like a good parent? Why do you think she is the way she is? What does she think about Salman when he first arrives, and how does it change over the course of the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 4, 2008
DVD release date:September 15, 2008
Cast:Christine Taylor, Lisa Kudrow, Scott Prendergast
Director:Scott Prendergast
Studio:Worldwide SPE Acquisitions Inc.
Genre:Comedy
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual material including a crude reference, and brief strong language.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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