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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Teens might enjoy the depiction of Los Angeles as a place where there are no rules, and where adults can always redefine themselves. But they’ll also take away the message that sometimes the easy pleasures in life aren’t always the most satisfying: Harris finds happiness not from a superficial social life or a casual sexual relationship, but from finding a true companion.
Positive Role Models
Harris is a fun-loving, good person who’s willing to chuckle at life’s absurdities, and even revel in them. By the movie’s end, he’s also learned to strive for what will truly make him happy, not just keep him entertained. Sara is a strong female character who doesn’t bow to convention; she’s quirky and odd, and makes no apologies for it. Many supportive characters are frivolous or superficial, but mostly well-intentioned.
Violence & Scariness
Some fantasy violence and arguing. “Road rage” is played for laughs when everyone on the freeway pulls out a gun and starts shooting, though no one is harmed. There’s some verbal abuse and shoving during a workplace argument.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is addressed in a lighthearted way, and as a positive part of adult relationships. One character is cheating on her boyfriend, another couple has an open relationship. Three sex scenes with very little shown contrast casual sex vs. making love; some passionate kissing, comic sex noises, a hand on a clothed breast, and post-sex bed scenes. The only nudity is a very brief shot of a topless woman in a dressing room.
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The word “f--k” and "s--t" are both used once.
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Products & Purchases
American Airlines gets a brief logo shot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are shown drinking responsibly at social engagements. One minor character nurses a hangover after overindulging the night before.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this offbeat comedy is not just a love story, but also a tribute to Los Angeles. Steve Martin's goofy antics and witty dialogue will keep teens entertained, but the early-'90s humor feels a little dated, and the L.A. in-jokes might be lost on teens unfamiliar with Los Angeles lore. The characters navigate the complexities of casual sex and meaningful relationships in a whimsical yet loving manner that older kids and teens will understand. There's also some profanity, fantasy violence, and a brief shot of a topless woman. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie is a sweet and poignant love story, both between Harris and Sara and Steve Martin and Los Angeles. Martin's deftly written script simultaneously celebrates and pokes fun at a city that doesn't take itself too seriously. Many jabs are related to its residents' love affair with cars: Harris drives to his best friend's house, though it's just two doors down, and his shortcut to work involves barreling through backyards and down staircases (what Angeleno doesn't have a secret detour to dodge traffic?). And the film's voice of wisdom, who helps Harris change his life? A freeway sign.
While kids will find Martin's oddball antics entertaining, some of the inside jokes about L.A. seem a bit dated; for example, there's a scene ridiculing people with "car phones" (remember those?). But kids who've spent any time in Los Angeles (or whose parents have) will get the joke when characters flock to a hot new restaurant, L'Idiot, and clamor for miniscule portions and abusive service.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate