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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Personality is more important than wealth or status. Love can't be planned.
Positive Role Models
Selina is confident, intelligent, and kind, having been brought up to value compassion over wealth. Mr. Malcolm initially shows some arrogance, thoughtlessness, and snobbery, but learns to value more important things than money and status. Julia is portrayed as headstrong and manipulative, though becomes more thoughtful and responsible toward the end of the movie.
The movie shows racial diversity rarely seen in costume dramas. The main characters are Black, Indian, and multi-racial, and there is Asian representation within the supporting cast. Female characters are confident and capable, seeming more in control of their destiny than the genre sometimes allows. The film is also written and directed by women, and features strong female representation within the crew.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters shoot guns when pheasant hunting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance is at the heart of the story. A few instances of kissing on the lips.
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Occasional language includes "damned" and "bloody."
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional drinking and smoking, with a character drinking in the morning to cure a hangover.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mr. Malcolm's List is a period costume romantic drama with very little iffy content (other than some social drinking and smoking) -- think of it as "Bridgerton lite." Set in the early 19th century, it centers on the wealthy Mr. Malcolm's (Sope Dirisu) list of qualities that he requires in a wife. This idea plays into some stereotypes, but the movie also has strong female characters and a racially diverse cast. In addition to the brief scenes of drinking and smoking, there's a bit of gambling. But overall, the film -- which is based on Suzanne Allain's novel of the same name -- is generally light, entertaining, and tame enough for tweens. 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 humorous romantic drama is a lighthearted romp through the world of courtship in Regency-era England. Mr. Malcolm's List owes a lot to both the satire of Jane Austen and the pomp of the recently successful Bridgerton in creating a production that is both very much of its historical setting, as well as the current time. All the mechanisms are there for a farcical romcom that leans heavily on society and manners, corsets, and estates, while giving its characters -- both male and female -- enough life and sparkle to keep audiences entertained through its almost two-hour running time.
A diverse cast brings strong performances to familiar roles, particularly excelling in the second half, even as the predictable outcome becomes increasingly clear. The sets and costumes look good, the tone is breezy and fun, and some of the humor sticks. All of which makes this an enjoyable addition to a genre that never seems to go out of fashion.
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.