Parents' Guide to

Moonshot

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sweet sci-fi romcom has language, drinking.

Movie PG-13 2022 104 minutes
Moonshot Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Entertaining in places, but contains mixed messages.

I watched this with my 10 year old. While she enjoyed it, a lot went over her head. The movie is set in 2049 and the best part of it is the dry commentary from various robots, saying things like "Enclosing humans in small spaces either results in more humans or less humans." She didn't get any of those. The verbal references to sex went over her head too: - Walt meets Ginny and makes a joke about along the lines of her shipping out in the morning so tonight being their "only chance." - Sophie and Walt discussing when each will be allowed to use their shared room for masturbation (referred to euphemistically). Sophie rather scathingly sneers at Walt and tells him that he just needs to use "self-control," only to have Walt accuse her of breaking her own rule later. - A reoccurring joke in which Sophie claims that Walt once got an erection while giving a speech and this this was extremely debilitating for him. This causes him to become popular on the ship somehow? Female characters sympathetically questioning Walt about the current state of his penis is played for laughs, and Sophie has no remorse about this. This bit did cause my daughter is ask what an erection was, but she lost interest in the question even before we could answer her. - Walt suggesting to Sophie that he could have sex with the ship's female captain in order to get to stay on board, referring to this as a honeypot scheme. In addition there were two visual references to sex. One occurs when the two main characters change out of their spacesuits. Walt and Sophie both are briefly in their underwear (him in a white T and boxers, her in shorts and a plain camisole). They peak over their shoulder at each other and quickly turn away, and then look back again and make lingering eye contact. It is one of the many times in the movie when they almost kiss but don't. At another point in the movie Sophie is getting ready to do a sexy video call with her boyfriend. She positions herself carefully on her bed and unzips her spacesuit to reveal a lacy camisole underneath. Before the boyfriend has a chance to react to this, Walt comes into the room unexpectedly. Sophie slams the laptop shut and acts mortified. This is when Walt acts excessively indignant and calls her a hypocrite for planning to break her own no masturbation" rule. Sophie has much more of story arc than Walt. At the beginning of the movie she shares her impossibly perfect boyfriend checklist and insists that she belongs with Calvin because he literally checks all her boxes. Up until one month prior, she had been living with his family since age 14 and dating Calvin since 9th grade, which is a little ew - basically she's been dating her adoptive brother for the past 9 years. Sophie realizes that she's been going along with all of Calvin's wishes regarding their future without making any plans for herself. She also realizes that while he is perfectly nice, he never going to put his plans on hold or shape them to suit what she wants out of life. The movie is less interested in developing Walt as a character. In spite of wanting to go to space since a very young age, he has very little knowledge in or aptitude for science. But because he is willing to lie, steal, and use people, he does manage to eventually reach his goal. He's still lying and sneaking around at the very end of the movie. It is also disappointing that Walt is repeatedly called "dumb" by other characters and by himself. I was really hoping that he'd eventually find something he was good at or that he'd realize that science-smart isn't the only kind of intelligence, but no. The captain of the ship makes this worse by repeatedly telling him that because he is so earthshatteringly dumb it is a good thing that he is so pretty. At the same time, Sophie criticizes Walt for not having a six-pack, one of the things on her personal boyfriend checklist. When he says that his girlfriend Ginny doesn't care if he doesn't work out, Sophie sneers that of course she does and the audience is supposed to agree with her. Walt is very much treated like a bimbo throughout the movie, self-centered and skating by on his good looks. While the film has racial diversity in the leads and a brief subplot involving a lesbian couple, racial and sexual identity is not actually referenced in any way in the film. Sophie is Asian and Calvin is Black and both are super smart and skilled in their field, but the movie sort of misfires when it comes to Walt's identify. At one point Walt meets his Elon Musk inspired hero (a white guy) who says that he sees a lot of himself in Walt (another white guy) and instead of punishing him for stowing away on the rocket decides to randomly offer him a job. Walt realizes at the end of the movie that he isn't going to suddenly become a better version of himself just by living in space, but never really articulates how he intends to be a better person back on Earth. There are a few cuss words, but only rarely are they used in anger at another person - mostly directed toward Walt for being self-centered. For a PG-13 movie this isn't that much sex at all, but what little there is is treated as shameful. There is zero violence other than Walt and Sophie working out with a boxing bag. The superficiality of the characters bothered me a lot more than the little bit of cursing or sex.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a sweet and earnest sci-fi romcom that effectively blends both well-trodden genres. While Moonshot checks off all the plot points of a romcom, it's carried, as all romcoms are, by the chemistry between the two leads. Cole Sprouse is entertaining as the bumbling, awkward, and "average" "Barista in Space," and Lana Condor's dry-humored, no-nonsense character strikes the perfect balance. Even with the sci-fi elements, the story doesn't break any of the expected rules of the romcom, but because of this chemistry between Sprouse and Condor, it doesn't have to.

The sci-fi elements aren't overbearing and they're occasionally funny -- as characters drink "space wine," dance in a "futuristic" manner, and work for robots who look like robots from '70s sci-fi. The movie does use these sci-fi elements to make comments on (unsurprisingly) the environment, and also on the prospect of only the ultra-wealthy getting to experience the thrill of space travel. The "future" is presented with a light touch, and enhances what turns out to be an enjoyable romantic comedy and reflection on life choices and the true meaning of adventure.

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