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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of family is demonstrated by Dan, who chooses a chance to be with his new family over a lucrative business deal. Dan and Charlie's lifelong relationship is also a good example of a loyal, unconditional friendship. But Vicki's decision to keep the twins a secret for seven years sends an iffier message.
Positive Role Models
Dan and Charlie are good examples of unconditional friends, and Dan learns what it means to unleash his imagination and be a playful father to his kids. That said, the main characters also get drunk and sometimes behave immaturely.
Violence & Scariness
Comic, slapstick-style violence: Dan falls while getting a spray tan; a particularly violent game of Ultimate Frisbee leaves the protagonists bruised and battered; a character ends up with a bloody face; Dan and Charlie crack each other's joints while warming up for a game. A character is kept trapped in a gorilla's embrace.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Charlie flirts with many women. Dan flirts with and kisses Vicki. Older kids will understand that Dan and Vicki slept together the night that they impulsively got married, which resulted in the twins. Jokey references to "the birds and the bees." One scene shows a lot of Dan's body (but no sensitive parts).
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Relatively mild language: "idiot" and a few scatalogical words like "poop," "farting," and "scat."
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Products & Purchases
Brands featured include Volvo, Apple, and Friday the 13th.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Charlie and Dan get drunk in Miami, drinking huge cocktails and flirting with equally inebriated women. Dan ends up marrying a woman he meets that very night. The two also take many prescription pills that have odd side effects, like lack of depth perception, ravenous hunger, and a Joker-like smile.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Robin Williams/John Travolta family comedy from the director of Wild Hogs includes lots of sight gags and physical humor, as well as jokey references to relationships and the "birds and the bees," but it's generally family friendly. Although there's no overt sexuality aside from some flirting and a kiss between adult characters, older kids will surely understand that a central couple consummated their marriage, as short-lived as it was. The wedding night in question also includes a scene of the main characters drinking huge cocktails, and it's obvious that they're comically drunk. There's no serious violence, but characters frequently fall and/or are injured in comic ways. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Although there are a few funny gags in Old Dogs, the old-guys-raising-kids premise is tired and predictable. Between the repetitive "grandpa" jokes and slapstick comedy, there's little that audiences haven't seen before (including a scene of Williams' barely clad body). Williams and Travolta are clearly at ease together, but the cast's familiarity with each other (Travolta's entire immediate family is in the film) doesn't make up for the movie's lazy writing and formulaic plot (is there ever really a doubt that Dan will land a new family and the deal of a lifetime?).
Probably the only really memorable part of Old Dogs is seeing the final on-screen performance of late, great comedian Bernie Mac, who plays a genius puppeteer in a small part. Other supporting players (most of whom have too little to do with their comedic talents) include Seth Green, Justin Long, Dax Shepard, and Luis Guzman. A much funnier plot could have centered around Green and Long as Williams' long-lost twins, instead of the movie's not particularly charming child actors....
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.