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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ordinary World (which has also gone by the title Geezer) is a dramedy starring Billie Joe Armstrong from the band Green Day. It follows an aging rocker who has to learn to be responsible. Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," and more. Characters drink -- ranging from a connoisseur's appreciation of fine whiskey to a hungover man who had too much. A stripper at a party wears skimpy underwear; a "hummer" is referenced. A woman tries to kiss a married man, but he resists. There's some brief destruction at a rock 'n' roll party. Overall, it seems unlikely that the movie will appeal to teens, unless they happen to like Green Day; it's more for the band's older, Gen-X fans, and even then, it's pretty thin.
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What's the story?
In ORDINARY WORLD, musician Perry (Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day) is just turning 40. His rock 'n' roll dreams are far behind him, but he's not very good at adulthood, either. He forgets to put out the trash and botches simple errands, like bringing a new guitar to his daughter's school talent show. Worse, his wife (Selma Blair) seems to have forgotten his birthday. Working with his brother (Chris Messina) in their father's hardware store, Perry is given the day off to blow off steam. He winds up getting a room at the Drake Hotel, where a party gets out of hand. He meets an old flame (Judy Greer), who now works for Joan Jett, and his old band shows up. But Perry has to figure out his life before his daughter gets on stage.
Is it any good?
Armstrong trades in his day job with Green Day for a lead role in this slightly charming but thin and overly awkward dramedy about a musician's mid-life freak-out. As good as he may be on records, on stage, or in music videos, Armstrong doesn't have the acting chops to carry a lead role, even one as slight as this, although he does have a certain shabby appeal.
But Ordinary World simply plows through the center of the story without caring about the margins; it has no life. Perry is so thinly written that it's hard to watch -- and believe -- as he blithely sabotages his own life. The other actors are clearly out of balance, especially since their characters have all been written directly in relation to Perry; they exist only to react to him. Only Blair transcends the material in a funny, loving moment at the movie's end. Otherwise, writer/director Lee Kirk presents this as a comedy that isn't funny, stopping for poignant moments that largely aren't.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how drinking is depicted in Ordinary World. How is the hotel manager's appreciation of fine whiskey different from the "hungover" character? What message does each send?
What does the main character eventually learn? Is he a good father? Why do you think he doesn't he seem interested in pursuing his music career anymore?
What does the movie have to say about the music business? How does view see fame vs. creative expression?
What is a "mid-life crisis"? Why does Perry feel that throwing a party will be a good thing? What does it accomplish?
Does this movie show you Armstrong in a new light? Do you appreciate him more or less than before?