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Love and Honor
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teen fans of The Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth may well want to see Love and Honor -- but know that it has a fair bit of drug use, sexuality, and violence. Considering the '60s setting, the drug use (marijuana) isn't that unexpected; nor is the tension between protesters and police and the shooting in the movie's brief war scene. There are two love scenes (bare-chested men and bra-wearing women) and a few passionate kisses. Teens will at the very least learn, if they haven't already, about the opposition to the Vietnam War.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Dalton Joiner (Austin Stowell) and his best friend, Mickey Wright (Liam Hemsworth), have been granted much-welcome R&R in the middle of their tour in Vietnam. Instead of living it up in Hong Kong with the rest of his unit, Joiner plans to take a trip back home to propose to his girlfriend, Janie (Aimee Teegarden), who had just sent him a Dear John letter. Unwilling to let his friend possibly go AWOL, Mickey flies back to Michigan with him. But when they arrive in Ann Arbor, they discover that Janie is now called Juniper and is living in a commune of activist undergraduates who are against the war. Mickey charmingly weaves a lie pretending that they really have gone AWOL in protest. Janie is impressed, as is her roommate, Candace (Teresa Palmer), who becomes intrigued with the handsome Mickey. But, as expected, Mickey's lie leads to unexpected consequences.
Is it any good?
LOVE AND HONOR doesn't really illuminate much about either word in its title until the very end. The "honorable" soldiers, particularly Hemsworth's Mickey, have no problem lying about their intentions to win over Janie and Candace. In fact, Mickey is so good with his untruths that it's kind of hard to really like him as a main character -- even if he's bound to be admired as eye candy. His looks, actually, might be part of the problem. Everyone here is a bit too attractive and glossy and clean for a movie about the Vietnam War.
But if the war means nothing to younger audiences and they're just watching for the romance, at least Hemsworth and Palmer (Warm Bodies) -- two of Australia's most talented and attractive young Hollywood imports -- do make a spot-on couple with their considerable chemistry. Unfortunately, that chemistry is wasted in a movie that has no depth whatsoever, despite all of the protests, the student activists, the earnest young journalists, and the reefer-mellowed pacifists. It's radicalism a la a TV movie -- at best.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether movies set during the Vietnam era are still relevant. Why is it rare to see movies about Vietnam now when they were so popular in the '80s and '90s? Is there a modern equivalent?
Does Love and Honor have more to do with the war or with the characters' romantic relationships? What did you learn about the Vietnam War?
Teens: Is there a cause you feel passionately about that you could help? How could you get involved?
- In theaters: March 22, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: July 23, 2013
- Cast: Austin Stowell, Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer
- Director: Danny Mooney
- Studio: IFC Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: History
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: drug content, sexuality, language and brief violence
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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.