A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Faith-based messages about not getting caught up in your job, remembering that your job is supposed to serve you so that you can serve God. Forgiveness should be the first and last thought of every day. What seem like disappointments can become blessings if you learn from them. Other messages stress importance of preserving family, history, community.
Positive Role Models
Mary becomes a positive role model for communication, perseverance, teamwork. She cares a lot about her family and her small-town community, wants to make both better. Her friends are loyal, supportive. Her father is distracted and distant but learns what he's been missing and changes. Mary's mother and grandfather are also loving and supportive, with lots of good advice. The villain is motivated by greed. Vast majority of cast is White, with a few people of color in minor or background roles.
Violence & Scariness
A speeding car appears to knock a pedestrian down; it's clear the pedestrian isn't hurt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One brief kiss.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mary 4 Mayor is a comedy-drama about a high school senior who runs for mayor of her small town against her own father. It's pretty squeaky-clean as far as content goes (one brief kiss, a pedestrian gets knocked down by a speeding car), but the themes surrounding local politics and the lack of younger kids in the cast mean it's not likely to interest viewers younger than tweens. Faith-based messages about forgiveness, being too self-involved to have time for family and God, and learning to see disappointments as blessings in disguise are conveyed with a light touch that doesn't feel heavy-handed. Overall messages are about the value of family, community, and preserving history. 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 has a lot of nostalgia for small-town America and will be especially enjoyable to viewers who share that nostalgia. Mary 4 Mayor presents small-town "Main Street" as the heart of the community, a place for people to gather and socialize, and where multigenerational businesses keep food on family tables. It also shows how preserving history helps bind communities together. But it would feel more inclusive if there were more people of color in the cast.
On the plus side, the faith-based messages are fairly universal, though of course they assume a belief in God, and they're straightforward without being too preachy or heavy-handed. The acting and production quality are good, too, about on par with made-for-TV movies or long-running, if older, TV series like Murder, She Wrote. There's no real content of concern, but kids younger than tweens probably won't be interested in a story about local politics with no cast members younger than teens. Tweens and teens will likely enjoy watching Mary as she shows that she's not too young to have a big impact and make real changes in her community.
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.