A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Goodness will eventually be recognized. "Hope isn't always the most realistic thing, but it tends to make the world a better place."
Positive Role Models
Maynard is a kind, generous man whose selfish wife walks all over him. An American fraudster pretends to be an Australian Bigfoot hunter.
Violence & Scariness
A man gets shot with a tranquilizer gun. A self-described Sasquatch expert reports that a dead deer that probably broke its leg stepping in a hole was really a victim of a Bigfoot attack. All violence is played for comedy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman kiss. People dress in animal costumes and dance and rub against each other. Someone observes this and assumes incorrectly that they're having sex. When the supposed monster hunter lets out a supposed Bigfoot mating call, a skeptic asks if he wants to "hump" the creature. Someone asks, "If a snake had ears, would you screw it?"
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"S--t," "hell," "damn," "ass," "screw," "crap," "poop," and "scat."
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Products & Purchases
The townspeople grow excited when a camera crew turns its attentions on their sleepy town. Some exploit the outside interest in Bigfoot, selling souvenirs from Maynard's store for profit, but not offering to share those profits with Maynard.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A local makes moonshine and often takes slugs from a flask he carries. Maynard gets extremely drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pottersville takes the idea that an ordinary person can have an impact on the lives of others from another Christmas story, It's a Wonderful Life. Here, a kind, unassuming storekeeper is at the heart of a story about a dying mill town that rallies from its depression when someone mistakenly believes that Bigfoot is running around the local woods. This attracts an exploitive camera crew and money-spending tourists and injects life into the local economy. Language includes "s--t," "hell," and "damn," "ass." Sex is mentioned, but in the context of bored adults dressing in fuzzy animal costumes and rather oddly rubbing against each other playfully. When the supposed monster hunter lets out a supposed Bigfoot mating call, a skeptic asks if he wants to "hump" the creature. Someone asks, "If a snake had ears, would you screw it?" A man gets drunk over his crumbling marriage. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a strained comedy featuring a whimsical plot that is unaccompanied by any supportive whimsical writing or acting. Formula rules over creativity. Maynard's unassuming but supportive employee, played by Judy Greer, is a stock character -- the "good woman" -- no more than a device to bring the movie around to its goal of getting Maynard what he deserves. Much of the comedy depends on lame ribbing of a cowardly TV "monster hunter" who thinks more about hair and makeup than the content of his show. Shannon is likable enough as a doormat to his oblivious and selfish wife, but it's utterly unfathomable that anyone would continue to run around at night in the woods dressed as Bigfoot while people with guns were also running around out there looking to shoot him.
The movie certainly has to overcome that unreality and since it fails to do so, everything that follows becomes equally difficult to swallow, or even sit through. At one point, Maynard types a letter before he goes off for his last appearance as Bigfoot, but we never find out what he wrote. The ending returns to the believable. The town recognizes the way it has taken dear, sweet, generous Maynard for granted, realizing how much more he's given them than the presence of a mythical creature ever could.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.