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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Tense scenes, suicide, grave-robbing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual situations and references, including adultery.
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Some strong language
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has sexual situations and references, including sex between unmarried couples, a lesbian relationship, and an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Roland and Maud almost become sexually involved when he stops, telling her that he has hurt others in the past and does not want to become physically intimate until they have a better sense of their relationship. A character commits suicide. Characters steal documents of great value. There's some strong language, and characters smoke and drink. Some audience members may be upset by scenes of an unauthorized exhumation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While director Neil LaBute is not able to master the scope of the novel, the result is still fairly smart, satisfying, and fun. LaBute, best known for his harrowing and very contemporary portrayals of bitter, selfish, and manipulative people and abusive relationships in Your Friends and Neighbors and In the Company of Men, was an unexpected choice for this film. It required him to adapt someone else's material, work with settings in another time and place, and portray relationships with genuine respect and intimacy.
This is essentially a high-gloss romance with pretty people falling in love. Forget bodice-ripping -- bodice untying is conclusively shown to be even more voluptuous. But the subtlety and complexity of the novel is lost. There are vestiges about some ambitious thoughts about love, honor, risk, emotional and intellectual precision, and even scholarship, but what remains is a nice date movie, but not much more.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate