A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Last Vegas features four lifelong pals who reconnect during a drink-filled bachelor weekend in Las Vegas. There's plenty of wild parties, trips to nightclubs, and even a bikini contest, all well-lubricated with lots of liquor. Expect some swearing, as well as many, many scenes with women in very scanty outfits, though no actual nudity. At the heart of the film is a sweet story about friendship and the definition of true love.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Lifelong friends Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman), and Sam (Kevin Kline), agree to reunite in Las Vegas to celebrate the impending marriage of the fourth member of their childhood quartet, Billy (Michael Douglas). But there's one problem: Paddy isn't speaking to Billy, and Billy may have lingering questions he needs answering before he can say "I do." LAST VEGAS follows the men as they joke about their health, their stamina during some raucous nights on the town, and the choices they have made in their lives.
Is it any good?
What a joy it is to see this fantastic foursome together onscreen in a film that explores, albeit with a light touch, the vagaries of aging and the burdens and joys of friendship through the years. It's fun, it's silly, it's The Hangover four decades later -- without the uber-crass parts.
But is it original? The answer will have to be no, since there are no new insights in this deft, but fairly standard, buddy comedy. Had the casting been more unconventional -- say, De Niro as the suave, successful Hollywood guy instead of the crabby Brooklynite he plays, or even Freeman, for that matter -- Last Vegas would've been more memorable. If it had any other epiphanies besides that long friendships are rare and valuable, and long, solid marriages, too, even more so. Prepare to see it for the actors, but not for any refreshing perspectives.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lifelong relationships between the four main characters. Why are some of them angry at each other? How do friendships change over time? Who is your oldest friend?
What messages does the movie send about alcohol and drinking? How would the story have been different if no one drank?
How would this movie have been different if the four friends were female?
- In theaters: November 1, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: January 28, 2014
- Cast: Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro
- Director: Jon Turteltaub
- Studio: CBS Films
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content and language
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