A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Life Partners focuses on lifelong friends who are approaching 30 and starting to feel the tug of adulthood and romantic relationships pulling them apart. Expect some frank discussions about sex and even more direct talks about what it means to be in a close and loving -- but platonic -- partnership. Many of these moments are well-lubricated with wine, beer, and other adult beverages. A few scenes show people in bed who've been fooling around, but nothing beyond kissing and flirting takes place on screen. One of the main characters is gay. Language is very strong, with constant use of "f--k," "s--t," and much more.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs) have been best friends forever. They're LIFE PARTNERS, really, but now that they're in their late 20s, the women are increasingly pulled in opposite directions. Sasha insists on dating women who are inappropriate and immature and phones it in at her job, even as she's supposed to be working on her music career. Paige, on the other hand, is a successful lawyer and has embarked on a serious relationship. As Paige spends more time with her boyfriend (Adam Brody) and less time with her best friend, Sasha starts to feel left behind.
Is it any good?
Two things are right about Life Partners: It's an interesting look at a life-long friendship and how it morphs over time, especially when one friend sets off on a different path. It's also heartening to see a movie focused on a diverse and complex group of female friends who are allowed to speak authentically with each other. But here's the problem: They're not all that interesting. Their crises, especially Sasha's, seem manufactured, and the chemistry between Meester and Jacobs, while pleasant, doesn't feel like a friendship that has lasted through the ages. Their in-joke about driving seems forced, and their distress at the growing chasm between them doesn't feel all that authentic.
It's really a shame. Opportunities like this don't come all that often, and it's crucial for the audience to be invested in their friendship, because when it's put to the test, we have to care. In Life Partners, we're being told to care, but the plot doesn't translate into a palpable authenticity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Life Partners' central friendship. Do Sasha and Paige help each move forward or hold each other back? Or is it sometimes a little of each? Does it seem like a real friendship? Can you relate?
What role does drinking play in the story? Do characters rely on alcohol? Are there realistic consequences?
Is Sasha's sexual orientation important to the story? Does it really matter?
- In theaters: December 5, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: March 3, 2015
- Cast: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody
- Director: Susanna Fogel
- Studio: Magnolia Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and some sexual content
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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