Love by the 10th Date

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Love by the 10th Date Movie Poster Image
Friends look for love; part fairy tale, part sex comedy.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Finding a mate is focus of film. Promotes having confidence in oneself: acknowledging strengths, believing that one is capable of loving and being loved. Advocates "letting go of what love is supposed to look like," being willing to broaden scope, moving away from traditional expectations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

In a reversal of roles, it's the women who are ardent pursuers. While engaged in a desperate, all-out effort to find Mr. Right -- or at least a Mr. Right who will last for 10 dates or more -- the women portrayed are spirited, loyal friends, often resourceful, and determined. For the most part, their targets -- an assortment of well-meaning gentlemen -- are less predator than prey; they treat the women with respect and acceptance. A stereotyped female magazine editor is demanding and rigid and has little empathy. 

Violence

Slapstick falls and disasters.

Sex

Many scenes show couples caught in the midst of sexual activity: partial nudity, suggested intercourse. Includes provocative clothing (i.e., thongs, low-cut tops); girls performing in strip clubs; a woman's genitals blurred in a photograph shared online, a "d--k shot" on the internet. Frank discussions, including bisexuality, open marriage, multiple partners. Women are actively pursuing sexual partners, some casual, others for longer-term relationships. A dildo appears.

Language

Frequent sexual references and profanity, such as: "threesomes," "bitch," "ass," "vagina," "penis," "a--hole," "hell." Some obscenities are purposefully bleeped, but intent is clear.
 

Consumerism

Tinder.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent social drinking in clubs, at home, in social situation: shots, champagne, martinis, beer. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love by the 10th Date, a Lifetime Original TV movie that aired early in 2017, is a romantic comedy featuring a likeable African-American cast in a preposterous but well-intentioned romp about women on the hunt for meaningful relationships or even just a little sex. The "10th Date" here is synonymous with the prospect of real love, and each of the four female central characters has her own ideas about what that means. Discussions and situations touch upon "open marriage," bisexuality, promiscuity, strip clubs, infidelity, and commitment. While some of the raunchiest profanity is bleeped, there's still lots of candid references to both female and male anatomy with "vagina," "penis," and "getting laid" getting plenty of screen time. Couples kiss and engage in foreplay and sexual intercourse with partial nudity in brief sequences, much of it played for fun. Some meant-to-be funny shots of genitals are blurred as they appear on computers or cell phones. Included amidst the revelry are some incisive notions about self-respect, self-confidence, making good choices, and "letting go of what love is supposed to look like." Intended only for young adult audiences and up. 

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What's the story?

Four best friends work together at a popular online magazine in LOVE BY THE 10TH DATE. Gabrielle Fateful (Meagan Good), Nell (Kellee Stewart), Margot (Kelly Rowland), and Billie (Keri Hilson) are either in a relationship (an "open marriage"), looking for love, or avoiding intimacy altogether. Gabrielle, a talented artist and art director, thinks she's never going to find that special someone; she's never even had 10 dates in a row with a man. Ten dates means a real investment, the kind that results in "happily ever after." Which gives the gang an idea -- an article for the magazine in which Gabby gets that 10th date and writes about it -- for a tidy sum. There are lots of men from which Gabrielle can choose -- from old beaus and office buddies to internet applicants. Meanwhile, Nell has her heart set on a talented and honest bisexual. Margot is intrigued by a famous musician who's headlining an issue of the magazine, but whose straightforward sexual interest threatens her carefully preserved celibacy. And Billie and her husband can't quite get the open marriage thing right. Careers matter, too. As everyone participates in a whirlwind effort to help Gabrielle reach her 10-date goal, all the women face making real decisions that will define their futures.

Is it any good?

High-energy performances, along with slapstick comedy, lively music, current issues, and good intentions, can't entirely overcome the predictable (often stereotypical) concept of women on the hunt. Still, it's fun, certainly for those who are amenable to lots of in-your-face sexual content. After a while the blitz of references to vagina, repeat glimpses of a heroine's genital exposure on the internet, and bikini wax conversations get tiresome. However, there's something to be said for writer-director Nzinga Stewart's notion of "emotional condoms." Special kudos to Kellee Stewart, who lights up the screen whenever she appears, and Meagan Good's all-out, no-vanity work. Also credited as a producer, it's clear how much Good was willing to invest in Love by the 10th Date. And finally, it's a treat to see women portrayed as unabashedly good friends, without the usual back-biting and jealousy that often accompanies stories like this one. Definitely not stellar entertainment, but enjoyable enough for many rom-com fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the fact that in Love by the 10th Date, women are featured as the fun-loving pursuers of men. Since it's usually men who are the coarse-talking, sex-obsessed characters, did you appreciate the role reversal? Is it any less acceptable for women to engage in such behavior? Why or why not?

  • Friendship was at the heart of this film. What made the women good friends? In many comedies, women are portrayed as jealous or competitive with one another. How did the friends in this film smash that stereotype?

  • What messages does this movie send about relationships and marriage? Which couples, if any, were role models that showed the possibility of a good working relationship? In what ways? How does the media in general portray marriage?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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