A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of family, faith, forgiveness, humility, and finding your purpose.
Positive Role Models
People in a small community care about and look out for one another.
Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers are at the heart of this story. Main character is a White male. But women are featured in professional roles: attorney, judge, doctor. Black characters play significant roles in the story, including a Black pastor who's a respected leader in his diverse community. A wealthy woman is kind and well respected.
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Violence & Scariness
A car accident killed the main character's mother.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hints of a developing romance. Chris is often shirtless.
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"Jesus Christ!" as an exclamation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Young adults take swigs from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Not to Forget is a mild faith-based drama about forgiveness, family, and the joy in finding your purpose. With essentially no iffy content and lots of familiar older actors, it could be a good pick for a multigenerational movie night for those drawn to its messages. The story follows Chris (Tate Dewey), a selfish scam artist who grew up in the foster care system after a car accident killed his mother and sent his father to jail. Cognitive disability is at the forefront of the story, although it's not depicted as dramatically or as accurately as in films like Still Alice or Away from Her. Characters swig from a bottle in a brown paper bag, and the main character is often shown shirtless; language is limited to an exclamation of "Jesus Christ." Characters reflect diversity in gender, race, age, and economic status. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Well-intentioned but not well-made, this faith-based dramedy's primary delight is its cast. Stars from the 1970s to the '90s are coming through the woodwork: Olympia Dukakis plays a warm-hearted but no-nonsense judge, Cloris Leachman is a beauty shop busybody, Tatum O'Neal appears as an elder-care doctor, George Chakiris is a bank manager, and Louis Gossett Jr. plays the church pastor. Carrying most of the weight as a grandmother succumbing to Alzheimer's is Grassle, who's best known as Ma from Little House on the Prairie. But she plays Melody more as "dotty" than "struggling with serious dementia."
With so many good actors giving subpar performances, which are sometimes affected by strange edits, it's hard not to think that the reason Not to Forget disappoints can be traced back to those in charge. The ideas that writer-director Valerio Zanoli is trying to convey are wonderful: The benefits of getting to know your grandparents is timeless, finding purpose through service to others is valuable, and forgiving relations for their failings applies to many families. But the story goes too far into left field by suggesting that an Alzheimer's patient would believe a young man with long hair is Jesus because he says so.
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.