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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Delivering justice. Caring for others. Learning to change.
Positive Role Models
Vinnie is generous and kind, but also a career criminal who lies habitually. Barney works hard but is stuck in his ways, which affects his personal life. Hannah is successful in her job and pushes back against male characters who are presumptive about and dismissive of her. But she can also be hard-headed.
Some female characters but the leads are both male. Also some dated views about women are expressed by male characters. Italian-American stereotypes played for comic effect.
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Violence & Scariness
Animal killed in accident off-screen. No blood or gore. Guns drawn and fired. Property damage. Character kicked, placed in an arm-lock, and tossed down some steps. No serious injuries. Minor scuffles.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Light-hearted references to sex. Some innuendo. Kissing.
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Language used includes "pissed," "s--t," "bastard," "son of a bitch," and one use of "f--k." Police informants referred to as "rats." Some sexist and misogynistic behavior, such as women's appearances being remarked on and criticized by men.
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Products & Purchases
Characters are shown to be greedy and motivated by money. People steals to enrich themselves. Character is bought a new suit to try to boost their self-esteem. Lavish spending in nightclubs.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol socially. Alcohol stolen by one character. Character places a large drinks order for themselves, but is not shown drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Blue Heaven is a crime comedy with some sexist and misogynistic behavior, and some dated stereotypes. When he is placed in witness protection in the San Diego suburbs, former New York mobster Vinnie (Steve Martin) struggles to fit in and change his ways. Despite frequently still breaking the law, Vinnie does try to help others, including uptight FBI agent Barney (Rick Moranis), and district attorney Hannah (Joan Cusack), who work hard at the expense of their marriages. There is very little diversity, with Hannah the only main female character and multiple characters making sexist remarks toward her and other women. Vinnie is a caricature of a New York mobster, who, along with other supporting characters, plays into dated stereotypes of Italian-Americans. Violence is occasional but mild, with gunfights resulting in no injuries. Sex barely features, but there are some references to it in jokes and on-screen kissing. Swearing is also mild and infrequent, but contains one use of "f--k." Vinnie is materialistic and spends money freely, which is played for comic effect. Characters drink and smoke but in moderation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A broad and fast-paced comedy, this 1990 movie leans heavily on gangster comedy cliches but encourages its cast and audience to have some fun with them. Martin takes center stage and makes sure that there's enough force of personality to power My Blue Heaven's so-so script. His motormouth Vinnie is all wild hand gestures and suits so loud that you can see why he wears sunglasses. Supporting Martin's whirling lead performance are a pair of '90s fan favorites, Rick Moranis and Joan Cusack. Neither is asked to journey much outside their comfort zones, but Moranis appears to enjoy bounding through the occasional action scenes.
The movie's only major failing is how little it asks Cusack to do. Her uptight District Attorney, Hannah, is there mainly to hector her co-stars and lose arguments, while absorbing outdated gags about her wardrobe choices and diet along the way. But if you can forgive My Blue Heaven for being disappointingly of its time in that respect, there are enough comedy and action set pieces to keep things engaging.
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.