Opening Night

Movie review by
Frannie Ucciferri, Common Sense Media
Opening Night Movie Poster Image
Uneven backstage Broadway comedy has sex, swearing.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Encourages taking chances to get what you want and not letting opportunities pass. Being true to yourself and allowing yourself to be vulnerable brings more success than lying and bravado. And, of course, the show must go on. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Few characters demonstrate positive traits. Chloe opens up and takes chances and encourages others do to so, but she doesn't persist when things don't work out immediately. Some diversity. 


A character is knocked out and gets a concussion. Some shoving. A character threatens to abort a pregnant character's baby. 


Frequent talk of sex and hooking up. Several women, including one with bare breasts, are seen coming out of a performer's dressing room. Nick tries to figure out who Chloe slept with the night before. Characters joke about sex acts. A doctor fondles a performer, and a man brags about how many women he's having sex with. A man and a woman have a competition to see who can seduce a new performer. They grope him and have him grope them on several occasions in situations where it's unclear whether he's consenting. Frequent suggestive dancing in skimpy outfits to songs with clearly sexual lyrics. A character talks about seducing another's boyfriend in graphic detail. A character asks another if she wants to have a threesome with him and his partner. There's a scene in the onstage musical about the character losing his virginity as a teen, but no sex is shown. Kissing.


Swearing is strong and frequent, with many forms of "f--k," "motherf--king," "s--t," "bulls--t," "bitch," "d--k," "t--ties," "douche bag," "a--hole," "ass," "c--k," "balls," "micropenis," "goddamn," and "hell." There is also an extended sequence in which two characters exchange several sexual insults in a row, including "anal whore," "butt slut," "bitch t-ts," "ass taxi," "jizz junkie," "dildo diva," "cum bunny," "pecker wrecker," "f--k bucket," and "c--k pocket."


References to Broadway and several musical artists who produced "one-hit wonders." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A major plot point involves a character accidentally taking Ecstasy tablets and behaving erratically. A pregnant character is mentioned to have done coke in a bathroom. A musician asks Nick for marijuana, insisting that "I can't play bass guitar unless I'm on drugs." Nick asks Malcolm if he has any drugs, and Malcolm shows off a small plastic bag of marijuana and gives it to him. Nick gives the drugs to the musician, who proceeds to spend the rest of the movie looking for more/stronger drugs, ending with smoking meth. No negative consequences for any drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Opening Night is a raunchy musical comedy about a stressed-out stage manager and the quirky cast and crew of a Broadway show. Characters break into song onstage as part of the show, as well as offstage. Swearing is strong and constant, including many uses and forms of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "d--k," "bitch," "a--hole," and an entire sequence of inappropriate sexual insults. A woman's naked breasts are seen in one scene as she and several other women exit a man's dressing room. Characters frequently talk about sex and hooking up, and there are graphic verbal descriptions of characters having sex, plus lots of twerking, grinding, and other suggestive dancing in skimpy clothing to songs with sexual lyrics. Two characters also have a contest to seduce a man and grope him (or make him grope them). A major plot point involves a character accidentally taking Ecstasy and behaving erratically, and a minor character who's clearly an addict asks everyone he meets for drugs. He's given a small bag of marijuana that belongs to one of the actors and later appears to be smoking meth. None of the sexual behavior or drug use appears to have any negative consequences. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byXeanibean June 23, 2018

Great movie for musical theater living adults.

This is a fun, but very adult comedy with one hit wonder songs and tongue in cheek jokes. I enjoyed it as someone who enjoys the actors and actresses involved w... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Nick (Topher Grace) is a Broadway stage manager getting ready for the OPENING NIGHT of his new show: One Hit Wonderland. The musical stars the "other guy" from NSYNC (JC Chasez, playing himself) and Brooke (Anne Heche), a washed up aging actress, as well as Nick's ex-girlfriend, Chloe (Alona Tal), as a chorus girl. When an incident with some giant chopsticks leaves Brooke concussed right as the show is about to start, Chloe must rise to the occasion and take her place. The only problem for Nick is that he still has feelings for Chloe, even after breaking up with her a year ago, and he's still obsessing over his own opening-night mishaps as an actor several years earlier. Meanwhile, two performers -- Malcolm (Taye Diggs) and Brandy (Lesli Margherita) -- are in the middle of a competition backstage to see who can seduce the new bisexual dancer, the props guy who's supposed to be watching Brooke loses her in the pit, the assistant stage manager can't speak, and, despite everything going wrong backstage, it's Nick's job to keep it all together. After all, the show must go on. 

Is it any good?

This movie's raunchy jokes and self-referential commentary about theater and "one-hit wonders" aren't funny enough to carry it. What could have been an interesting concept falls flat in Opening Night. The characters break out into popular one-hit wonders both onstage and off, but the purposefully hokey musical numbers aren't as charming offstage. And straight-faced Nick, who proclaims that he hates Broadway, is out of place among the over-the-top, overly dramatic performers he's supposed to be wrangling. Unlike true musicals, where no one questions when the characters break into song, Nick does question it (and often), making it unclear whether we're supposed to embrace the wacky weirdness or mock it. 

There are some funny moments, especially in the side plot with Malcolm and Brandy, though their scenes rely a lot on sexual humor. There are also some fun references to NSYNC thanks to JC Chasez, who plays a tongue-in-cheek caricature of a former star. But the relationship between Nick and Chloe, which is supposed to be the heart of the story, comes up lacking. And the movie's messages about seizing opportunities and taking risks -- for Chloe onstage and for Nick offstage -- don't seem that inspiring. Avid theater fans might enjoy a look behind the curtain, but overall, this not-quite-spoof falls short.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the message of seizing opportunities and taking risks in Opening Night. Why can't Nick seem to let go of his mistakes and stage fright? Does Chloe help him, or does she have the same fears? Would things have gone differently if either had more courage

  • How much sexual content in media is appropriate for kids and teens? Was the competition between Malcolm and Brandy appropriate or fair? Did they take their flirting too far when they groped the new dancer?

  • What role does drug use play in the story? Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why is that important?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love theater

Themes & Topics

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