Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Poignant family dramedy with lots of adult themes.

Movie PG-13 1989 110 minutes
Parenthood Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+

Funny! Not for kids!

I watched Parenthood when I was 13 and really enjoyed it (back then), now as a young adult it's still great but certainly not for kids that young! Funny? Yes, hilarious sometimes. But it's humor strictly for older teens and adults. It's the type of film you would be embarrassed to watch with your family! It's basically about the many struggles parents go through raising children, this film features three families who are related to one or the other. Main couple, Gil (Steve Martin) & his wife played by Mary Steenburgen are raising 3 children. One of them has some sort of severe social anxiety and does poorly in school. Gil's job doesn't help. Helen (Dianne Wiest) is a single mom raising her wild teen daughter (Martha Plimpton) and young son (Joaquin Phoenix) by herself. Her daughter always has her punk boyfriend (Keeanu Reeves) over and her son is always to himself. Then there's Susan (Harley Jane Kozak) and husband (Rick Moranis) raising their own young ones but have no clue where to start, their relationship soon deteriorates. The grumpy old father's other son comes to visit for only one reason (to borrow money from daddy) and complains about loan sharks harassing him for money he owes. Overall, It's very funny and definitely not boring. Language isn't frequent but words like sh*t, b*tch, sl*t is heard. Violence isn't bad, just mainly yelling and arguing, an office is vandalized, talk of a loan shark. Sexual content is fairly strong especially for a PG-13, we have a vibrator found by a child that embarrasses a woman, teen girl sneaks her boyfriend over in her room and mom says she heard moaning sounds all night, same teen couple take naked pictures of each other during sex (nothing shown) and her mom picks them up first by accident, some kissing, a young boy hides porn tapes in his room and mom finds out...she plays a tape to see what it is and we see a couple in bed with some moaning sounds, a teen boy is asked to talk to the young boy about his sexual feelings because he won't talk to anyone, a woman goes down on her husband as a joke while he's driving and they get in an accident, some talk about a single mom having sex with machinery, a few jokes here and there. There is some social drinking but not much. Okay for mature 15 and up (better suited for 17+ though).

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

Keep all kids toddlers through teens away from this one.

Ok. I have four kids ages 12, 9, 6, and 3. I consider myself a fairly liberal parent when it comes to some of the things my kids watch for movies. My older two are good at distinguishing fantasy from reality, but this movie would definitely seem to be depicting reality for preteen and cause some confusion for them. Apparently my memory was faulty in remembering that this movie was a kid movie. I should know that nothing about real parenthood is G-rated, so why should the movie be rated as such. This is DEFINITELY not for kids unless you plan on explaining why that thing on TV is not a cup but actually a diaphragm and then following up your twelve year old when he asks what that has to do with having babies. Whenever I thought one scene was probably the worst one and it would get better from there, it only went more downhill. I would say this should be rated R and only be for adults. It promotes really bad teen behavior including teen pregnancy, drinking, smoking, and pornography to name a few. It could have been done with the same humor minus the sex and disrespectful behavior towards parents. I definitely give this a thumbs down for kids but rate it as fairly funny for adults.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (12):

It's no mystery that parenthood is a minefield, but what makes director Ron Howard's film masterful is how it acknowledges this truism without relying on the usual tricks. Parents are allowed to be unsure; children, defiant. Everyone's allowed to be human, and nobody has all the answers. And here, they're funny -- very funny, thanks to a tight screenplay and a superb cast.

From a charismatic Keanu Reeves to Jason Robards' portrayal of a deeply flawed man, each actor turns in a fully realized performance. Martin anchors them all, with his agitated, kinetic humor that's grounded in real life, keeping the film entirely relatable despite some slightly over-the-top comedy and a predictable ending. Not all has aged well -- a school shooting, even one dreamed up in Gil's mind, is harder to watch today than in 1989, and having the film's only Black character (in any substantial role) be abandoned by both his parents feels careless. But overall, Howard steers the film with compassion and humor. As with parenting, it's probably the best way to make a great movie.

Movie Details

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