Pulling Strings

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Pulling Strings Movie Poster Image
Sweet Spanish-language romcom hinges on night of drinking.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 112 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Pulling Strings offers positive messages about putting down roots, trusting people, friendship, loyalty, and trying to see the person for who they are beyond your assumptions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents are shown as engaged and caring, going to great lengths to understand and protect their children. Friendships are shown as very positive and supportive. Main characters are well developed and have good and bad qualities, and, though they make mistakes, they strive to make overall good choices for themselves and others.


Very mild peril when thug-like characters intimidate and threaten a man, pulling back to hit him but then stopping.


Romantic/passionate kissing in a few scenes between a man and a woman. In one scene, a woman and a man kiss; then the camera cuts away as they enter the bedroom, and the next morning the woman is in the man's shirt, presumably to indicate intercourse occurred the night before. There is a consistent presence of sex-related banter, including two women toasting to David Beckham's butt, exclaiming that he "has a really good ass," and there's a joke made about a woman going topless to make money. 


Some mild profanity throughout, such as "hell," "working my ass off," and "I'm going to kick your ass."


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The film's premise involves one night of heavy drinking at a work party, showing two adult women downing shots and becoming increasingly drunk, as well as a few colleagues also being intoxicated, using slurred speech and stumbling. Casual smoking is shown briefly in a few scenes. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pulling Strings is a Spanish-language movie that involves a night of excessive drinking at a work party and the ensuing chaos. Expect some sex-related banter and mild profanity ("ass"). The film is otherwise a sweet, upbeat romantic comedy about putting down roots and what it means to really see people, with positive depictions of single fathers (with a deceased mother referenced briefly), family, and friendship, but, because of the subtitles, and because the action hinges on a night of partying, it's probably best for older kids. 

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What's the story?

After a night of excessive drinking at her goodbye party as she leaves Mexico City for London, embassy worker Rachel (Laura Ramsey) has a chance encounter with mariachi player Alejandro (Jaime Camil), whose visa request for his daughter she rejected the day before. Soon she enlists him to help her pick up the pieces of one wild night and discovers that people aren't always what they seem at first glance.

Is it any good?

PULLING STRINGS has a fun charm; the leads have good chemistry, and the supporting characters give this subtitled bilingual flick some familiar faces. Overall, it's a pro-family movie with positive images of single dads, modern women, friendship, and the vast potential for cross-cultural understanding and comedy. There's some romance but nothing too risqué, and, aside from the fact that the premise hinges on and often references one night of heavy drinking, the rest of the film is a quiet, sweet look at romance and cultural barriers to trust, as well as some nice pondering over what it means to put down roots. Bonus points for some lovely singing and mariachi music.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about drinking responsibly. Do you think the film shows drinking realistically? What sorts of things go wrong after drinking too much? What might have been a more responsible amount to drink to celebrate?

  • How does the film portray cultural misunderstandings? What assumptions do both groups in the film make about one another, and how do they come to see them as unfair? 

  • What kinds of stereotypes does the film work to undo about what it means to be a "good father" or a good provider? How does Alejandro challenge those notions? Do you think society is coming to view fatherhood as more important than it used to be? How so, or how not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love other cultures

Themes & Topics

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