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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Love Sarah is a London-set comedy-drama that tackles the theme of grief -- in a slightly heavy-handed way -- by highlighting the importance of family and friends. Sarah (Candice Brown) has tragically passed away at a young age following a cycling accident, which occurs off screen. This leaves her mother, Mimi (Celia Imrie) daughter, Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) and closest friend, Isabella (Shelley Conn) to come to terms with her death, something they do by opening a new cake shop and bakery. The three women are all strong-willed, independent characters that are admirable in their business venture -- set to the backdrop of a thriving, diverse London. There is occasional profanity including three uses of "f--k" as well as "whore." There is also some sexist language -- a male character tells a female character to "grow a pair of balls" -- but this is clearly portrayed as bad behavior. There is the suggestion that two characters have sex when they are seen in bed together covered by just a duvet. Characters drink alcohol on numerous occasions, including shots. But the overall messages here are positive including supporting local and independent businesses.
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What's the story?
LOVE SARAH begins with the passing of Sarah (Candice Brown) a passionate baker who dreamed of having her own bakery in London's Notting Hill. Her best friend Isabella (Shelley Conn) considers selling their joint-owned shop, but is inspired by Sarah's daughter, Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) and mother, Mimi (Celia Imrie) to fulfill Sarah's dreams and re-open the establishment as a cafe to sell cakes to the masses -- if they ever arrive.
Is it any good?
This film is true of the Notting Hill businesses it represents; it's charming and accessible, but a little pretentious and self-aware. It is, however, a nice take on grief and looks into loss from differing perspectives, and while it never gets too deep or profound, there's an uplifting undercurrent to this production. Imrie is the stand-out performer -- as she so often is -- in a movie that subtly celebrates the diligence and resourcefulness of women.
The celebration of diversity is also welcomemin Love Sarah, albeit less subtle. The characters wish to bake cakes and treats for people of different cultures, highlighting the different cuisines and traditions from around the world. It could be seen as an exploitative tactic, but they do so in the name of inclusivity and to really champion the multiculturalism of London. Perhaps this is just one big apology to the people of Notting Hill, correcting the wrongs of the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts '90s romcom, and ensuring a much more diverse, and authentic portrayal of the area is reflected on screen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how grief is portrayed in Love Sarah. How does Sarah's death impact those who loved her? Discuss the loss of any family members or pets that have passed away? Movies to help kids deal with grief.
At the center of the movie is a collective of empowering, independent women. What women in your own lives inspire you, and why?
How does the movie address diversity and inclusivity? What different cultures and traditions have you encountered from around the world? What different foods, for instance, do you enjoy from cultures that aren't your own?
Each of the characters put everything on the line to start their new business. Do you have any ambitions to one day start your own business? If so, what would it be?
- In theaters: July 10, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: January 15, 2021
- Cast: Celia Imrie, Shelley Conn, Shannon Tarbet
- Director: Eliza Schroeder
- Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Cooking and Baking, Friendship
- Character strengths: Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: January 10, 2021
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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.
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