Lazy Susan

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Lazy Susan Movie Poster Image
Talented cast can't save underwhelming comedy.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 90 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes honesty, generosity, kindness. Reminds audiences that no matter how unmotivated, selfish, or lazy someone is, it's never too late for them to turn things around and become a better person. Susan's story also encourages forgiveness and redemption, as well as unconditional love from family and friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Very few role models except for Susan's best friend and neighbor, who's a devoted mother, loyal wife, and good friend to Susan.

Violence

A character with a chronic illness faints and requires hospitalization. Susan commits an act of vandalism.

Sex

Two sex scenes. In one, the sides of a woman's breasts are visible. A woman offers her husband a sexual act in exchange for kid duty. Someone jokes about being "too tired for blow jobs." A character makes a joke that she'd "love to give that DJ a BJ."

Language

Frequent strong language includes "f--king," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "retarded" (several times). Also "Christ's sake!," "God!," "goddamn," and more.

Consumerism

K-Mart is prominently featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several scenes of drinking wine and other kinds of alcohol. Someone drinks so much that she throws up. A character drinks an entire bottle of liquor. Characters smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lazy Susan is a coming-of-middle-age dramedy about an unmotivated woman (Sean Hayes) who drifts through life by living off of her mother until circumstances make her rethink her titular laziness. Expect frequent strong language, including "motherf----r," "f--k," "f--king," "retarded," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. Characters smoke cigarettes, drink to excess (i.e., throw up), and commit an act of vandalism under the influence. There are two sex scenes, one of which includes a glimpse of the sides of a woman's breasts. Characters reference sex acts, including oral sex. Although Susan isn't exactly a role model, her story encourages forgiveness and redemption, as well as unconditional love from family and friends.

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What's the story?

The title character in LAZY SUSAN is self-absorbed, middle-aged, unemployed, and looking for love. As the title makes clear, Susan (who's played by Sean Hayes but is a cisgender woman) is also lazy -- so much so that she doesn't do much but add magazine-spread fashion photos to her vision board and try to one-up her frenemy, Velvet (Allison Janney), who works at the local K-Mart. Susan's also not particularly kind to the other people in her apartment complex or even her married best friend, Corrin (Carrie Aizley), who wants to try out for a local talent show. When Susan's brother (Kiel Kennedy) announces that he's taking their mom (Margo Martindale) and his family on a vacation but not paying for Susan to go along, she's finally motivated to find a boyfriend or a job and prove everyone wrong.

Is it any good?

The movie misses the mark so widely that even talented character actors like Hayes, Janney, and Martindale can't make up for the sloppy writing and unfunny gimmick. Susan's laziness isn't just in the title, it's in every scene: from the way she uses a mobility scooter despite not having a disability to how she "works out" by barely pedaling a stationary bicycle at the gym to her complete disinterest in anything that requires effort. She's not a "lovable loser" type; just completely unlikable and self-absorbed.

Although there are a couple of mildly funny setups -- and it's always a pleasure to see Janney and Martindale, as well as comedy veterans Hayes and Jim Rash -- Lazy Susan doesn't have much to make it worth seeing. Hayes' scenes with Janney in the K-Mart or with on-screen mom Martindale make it clear that, given a better script, these co-stars could have a natural comedic chemistry. It's just a shame this forgettable film is what brought them all together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of strong language in Lazy Susan. Do you think it's necessary to the story? Why or why not?

  • What is the movie's message about friendship and family? Why are both important?

  • Who, if anyone, is a role model in the movie? How does Susan change by the end of the story? Which character strengths does she learn?

  • How are sex and romantic relationships portrayed in the movie? Which relationship is the healthiest?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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