Lovely and Amazing

Movie review by
Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media
Lovely and Amazing Movie Poster Image
Mature story about relationships and family.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 92 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The film does not include a single character who is not in some way disturbed. The main women (and child) all appear to be struggling with emotional issues. That struggle manifests itself in alternating hateful/selfish and caring behavior. The film also includes a slew of bad relationships.

Violence

Off-screen dog attack.

Sex

Discussions of threesomes, heavy petting, extended foreplay, extended full-female nudity, teenage sex with a middle-aged woman.

Language

A homophobic slur, sexually vulgar language, swearing from and at children, and a racist/anti-Semitic joke.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual drinking by adults, underage drinking (at the behest of an adult).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie features very mature material, including teen-adult sex and full-frontal nudity. There's drinking and swearing, and the characters are often abusive to one another. This film also deals with mature subjects, from liposuction to a loveless marriage.

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What's the story?

The ironically titled LOVELY AND AMAZING chronicles the mid-life crises of three self-loathing sisters and their equally despondent mother. Jane (Brenda Blethyn), who lives in her suburban home with her adopted overweight African-American daughter Annie (Raven Goodwin), prepares to enter the hospital for liposuction. Meanwhile, her two grown daughters, Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer), an actor, and Michelle (Catherine Keener), a struggling artist, have hit major difficulties in both their careers and relationships. As their problems crash headlong into each other, mother and daughters must figure out how to care for each other and themselves.

Is it any good?

Though the characters are a bit wearing and self-indulgent, Lovely and Amazing is an overall engaging film. It examines the personal struggles of women caught between self-esteem, social pressures, and a drive to succeed. The film gained praise on the independent circuit, garnering Emily Mortimer a Best Supporting Actress Independent Spirit Award. Keener and Goodwin received nominations, along with the film's director/screenwriter Nicole Holofcener. Lovely and Amazing serves as a fabulous vehicle for four strong actors.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the title. Do you think any of these characters are lovely or amazing? Do you think the title was a good choice? How do you think movies get their titles in general? How important is the title to you? Families may also want to talk about the body image issues presented here. How do you think Jane's decision to have liposuction impacts her young overweight daughter -- or her grown underweight one?

Movie details

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