A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a serial killer/stalker thriller that is completely inappropriate for young viewers. The predatory villain Casanova stalks and abducts women, and, if they do not obey him, he kills them. There are many scary scenes of the villain chasing his prey or hurting them, and some bloody fights. Although there is little nudity or onscreen sex, there is the constant awareness that the villain's prime motive is sex and that he views women as his sexual property. Profanity is used in context and sparingly, but it is nonetheless strong. The characters drink lightly and there is no illegal drug use, except in the case of the villain using a prescription drug to make his victims easier to handle. Social issues are seldom addressed in a straightforward way, except in the case of an escaped victim who challenges the idea that she should be protected and kept out of a case that involves her. The cast is racially diverse, and women are presented as resourceful and strong people as well as victims.
What's the story?
Morgan Freeman stars as Alex Cross, a psychologist who works with police to catch criminals. When his own niece is abducted by a man who calls himself Casanova, he joins a police team headed by Brian Cox and Carey Elwes to try to find him before it's too late. As the investigation builds steam, another abduction takes place: an attractive doctor, Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is taken from her home. While her daring escapes gives the police team an edge in finding Casanova, Kate is haunted by the women she left behind in the process. Despite their protests, she joins the police, offering her own insight and courage to the cause. The chase takes the team from coast to coast, following clues to learn more about the kidnapper and his motives. Alex and Kate challenge their thinking as intelligent people and as men and women in order to understand the truth about the case.
Is it any good?
KISS THE GIRLS is an entirely mediocre film. The cast, while talented, doesn't mesh well on-screen and the plot, based on a James Patterson novel, never takes off in any exciting directions. There are some exciting visual effects, such as Kate's frightening race through the woods, but scenes like these do little to make up for the film's other deficiencies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Casanova's distorted view of romance. How does a good relationship work, and can it ever be achieved by forcing one's own ideas on a partner, violently or not? Families could also talk about standard ideas of men and women in the roles of protectors and rescuers. Kate McTiernan, who escapes, feels responsible for the women who did not, and puts herself at risk to help them. Does she have a duty to do this?
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