Uneven drama about family secrets has swearing, drinking.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Match is an indie drama about three characters who are each hiding something from one another -- including a renowned ballet instructor (Patrick Stewart), a graduate student who's interviewing him for her dissertation (Carla Gugino), and her somewhat reluctant husband (Matthew Lillard). Over the course of a long afternoon fueled by wine, whiskey, and pot, the conversation turns increasingly personal, and it becomes clear that the three strangers have a deep connection. In addition to the substance use, expect a lot of swearing (especially "f--k") and some explicit discussions about sex, including oral sex. Two men wrestle in a tense encounter.
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What's the Story?
Tobi (Patrick Stewart), an acclaimed ballet instructor at the tail end of a storied career, is excited to share his old memories when he's interviewed by graduate student Lisa (Carla Gugino) for her dissertation on the history of dance. She's brought her husband, Mike (Matthew Lillard), along, and as the conversation becomes more personal (with the help of some of Tobi's choice Danish hashish), it becomes clear that the three of them are all hiding something from one another.
Is It Any Good?
MATCH is a small story that tackles big themes: honesty, choices, responsibility. Tobi and Mike have a long-hidden bond, and it's clear that keeping that secret has deeply affected both men, as well as Lisa. It's an interesting story, but the film gives away its punches long before they hit. We can see the the big "twists" and reveals coming far in advance, so they don't have as much impact as they should.
It doesn't help that Stewart's portrayal of the aging dancer overpowers the story. He comes off as insincere at times when he needs to be sympathetic. The film is adapted from a play, where the three-character structure likely fit nicely into Tobi's apartment, where most of the action takes place. But a movie isn't a stage, and something is lost in translation from proscenium to cinema.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about secrets. What are the characters here hiding, and how does it affect them? Is the movie sending any message about the impact of keeping secrets?
How does the movie depict drinking and drug use? Are there any consequences?
How have Tobi's decisions affected other people, especially Mike and Lisa? Does he have any regrets?
- In theaters: January 14, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: August 11, 2015
- Cast: Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, Matthew Lillard
- Director: Stephen Belber
- Studio: IFC Films
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Arts and Dance
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language, sexual dialogue and some drug use
- Last updated: April 1, 2022
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