A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kate lies to her boss, inventing a fiancé to give herself an air of stability. Much of the plot revolves around finessing farcical situations caused by the lie. Kate has an unrequited crush on the playboy Sam, but he only pursues her upon hearing news of her engagement, thinking she's unavailable. Kate wants to sustain the lie to keep him interested. They kiss in bed without clothes, but no body parts are shown. Characters say "s--t," "sucks," and "damn" and make sexual allusions. They also drink alcohol. There's not a lot here to interest kids, unless they're die-hard Jennifer Aniston fans.
What's the story?
Kate (Jennifer Aniston), 28 and single, has a crush on playboy coworker Sam (Kevin Bacon), who is not interested until he learns she's engaged. But the fiancé is an invention of a well-meaning colleague trying to make Kate appear more grounded in the eyes of their ad agency boss. After her promotion, Kate wants to perpetuate the lie to keep Sam interested even as the audience understands that Sam only wants what belongs to someone else. The fake fiancé, Nick (Jay Mohr), has genuine feelings for Kate and she treats him with blunt insensitivity. After hurting Nick, she realizes he's worthy of her attention.
Is it any good?
Teens looking for an entertaining romcom can find much better. As Kate, Aniston uses her trademark comic timing to play the kind of wavering, passive-aggressive character she perfected on the television show Friends and has been entertainingly playing ever since. But some may tire of yet another of these similar performances. The urge to root for her is strong, but one is hesitant when Kate treats a nice guy so shabbily. After all she does to him, it's difficult to believe he wouldn't be glad to wash his hands of her.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Kate's scheme. Do you think an employer cares if an employee is in a relationship or not? Would a boss really want to work with someone who so elaborately lies?
Sometimes lies hurt other people. Are there times when telling a lie can prevent another person from getting hurt?
Why might someone only want to date people who are committed to other people? Do you ever want something just because someone else has it?
- In theaters: August 1, 1997
- On DVD or streaming: January 18, 2000
- Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jay Mohr, Kevin Bacon
- Director: Glenn Gordon Caron
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 105 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: For sensuality and related dialogue
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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