A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People with tough exteriors often are soft and good-hearted inside.
Positive Role Models
Michael does the right thing and brings Angie and her estranged father together. A self absorbed and abusive 12-year-old actor belittles his mother and agents.
Violence & Scariness
In a comic gross-out scene, Michael pours soured, lumpy milk from a container onto his cereal and then puts a spoonful of the disgusting concoction in his mouth. A 10-year-old steals wallets and threatens people with a pocket knife. An unwanted kiss.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man seems to have invited a female acting client to his apartment to seduce her while it's clear she thinks she's there to run lines for an audition. He kisses her and she seems to be rebuff him. When she learns that he only represents child actors and that he has therefore been stringing her along by pretending to represent grownups, she leaves angrily.
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"S--t," "ass," and "crap."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. A character turned to alcohol after the death of his wife and is in rehab getting his life back together.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Life with Mikey is a 1993 comedy featuring Michael J. Fox as a former child star now running a failing children's talent agency with his brother. Many well-worn themes weave throughout. Two people meet "cute," hate each other, then come to love each other, but in this case it's a 30-something has-been actor and a 10-year-old motherless pickpocket. The lead character is a bit sleazy -- he strings along an adult wannabe actress, seemingly just so he can be alone with her in his apartment. An unwanted kiss. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. A 10-year-old is a practiced pickpocket and sometimes wields a pocket knife. A man is in rehab for alcohol abuse. A young actor belittles his mother and agents. Michael pours soured, lumpy milk from a container onto his cereal and then puts a spoonful of the disgusting concoction in his mouth. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is likable enough but it covers no new territory and is mildly disappointing given the comic gifts of Fox and Lane and the artistry of the director, Tony winner James Lapine. Fox plays yet another of the selfish, fast-talking, wise-crackers typical of his resume in the 1990s, and viewers will wait patiently for the plot twist or character to come along to help humanize him by the story's end. Watching this cast breeze through the jokes is pleasant enough, but too many plot points strain credulity. In light of all the child labor laws, it's a stretch to ask us to believe an agency would sign a child without meeting parents or a guardian, or securing the proper paperwork.
Sexual politics of today make it hard to watch a scene in which an actress running lines in Michael's apartment is fighting off his kisses. She learns that he actually only represents child actors and that's why he's never gotten her a job. The revelation of his unspoken exploitation is downright creepy, a little reminiscent of current #MeToo accusations that used to be dismissed as mere "boys-will-be-boys" hijinks. Suddenly Michael seems unsavory and predatory, which some may find difficult to get past. The woefully underused Cyndi Lauper as a receptionist is the funniest thing in Life with Mikey.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.