A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this romantic comedy centers on acquaintances who hatch a scheme to get married just for the gifts and cash. Despite the movie's lighthearted spin on the scenario -- and the inevitable happy ending -- the premise sends some iffy messages about love, marriage, and the real-life repercussions of serious issues like gambling. Factor in some intermittent sexual allusions (phrases like "bang hot chicks," for example) and light-duty violence (thugs punch Vince and threaten him with a gun), and it's clear that this movie isn't meant for young kids.
What's the story?
Cupid's arrow misses its mark when Jennifer (Melissa Joan Hart) and Vince (Joey Lawrence) meet at a mutual friend's wedding and quickly develop a distaste for each other. Sassy, sharp-tongued Jennifer finds nothing appealing in rough-edged Vince, and the two happily go their separate ways at evening's end. But when all of Jennifer's possessions are stolen and she has no means to furnish her new home, she proposes to Vince -- who's got money troubles of his own -- that they fake a wedding to haul in the gifts and cash. Their plan runs smoothly until Jennifer gets cold feet from the realization that she's put their families' feelings at risk. It's up to Vince to convince her that there might just be a fairy-tale ending in their future after all.
Is it any good?
It's tough to make a romantic comedy without some level of predictability, but MY FAKE FIANCE has enough surprises to keep the plot fairly fresh. Hart and Lawrence are believable as a romantic odd couple who can't look past their frustration with each other to see that their true feelings might be something else entirely. The Sopranos' Steve Schirippa adds to the fun as a good-hearted loan shark who's not bashful about rooting for a happy ending for the unlikely couple.
As movies go, this one is relatively light on iffy content (kissing, some mild sex talk, and a few instances of violence tempered by humor), but it still sends some iffy messages about mature relationships and the meaning of marriage. It's not for little kids, but teens and adults will get a kick out of the characters' skewed view of relationships, as well as the story's suggestion that love can be found in the most unlikely of places.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. Teens: What personality traits are important to you in a boyfriend or girlfriend? How do you think you'll know when you find the "right" person? Do you hope to get married someday? What do you expect from marriage? How do you think the media portrays love and marriage in TV series and movies? Do you think this portrayal reflects society's views, or does society respond to what the media tells us is right?
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