A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Heavy-handed faith-based messages on how selfless giving is better than selfish greed.
Positive Role Models
Characters too one-dimensional to be viewed as positive role models, even as lead character learns to value charity and selfless giving.
Violence & Scariness
A girl falls off the second floor of a dilapidated factory and requires hospitalization.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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In a recurring attempt at humor, lead character blurts "hell" and "damn" while in presence of a clergyman, then quickly replaces those words with "heck" and "darn."
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Products & Purchases
Lead character uses money that grows on a tree he has inherited to buy a Porsche.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine drinking. When lead character gives money to a man who is unhoused, the man is accused of drug dealing and taken to jail by an overzealous detective.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Root of the Problem is a 2019 comedy-drama in which a greedy man inherits a plant that grows money from his recently deceased uncle-in-law. This is a faith-based movie that, as the title implies, explores the premise of "What if money grew on trees?" and uses the oft-quoted Bible verse "For the love of money is the root of all evil" as the theme. This message is presented in a heavy-handed way throughout the movie. A recurring attempt at humor is the lead character blurting out the words "hell" and "damn" while in the presence of a clergyman, and then hurriedly replacing those profanities with "heck" and "darn." A girl falls off the second floor of a dilapidated factory and requires hospitalization. The movie shows wine drinking and one passionate kiss. A man who lacks housing is accused of drug dealing and taken to jail by an overzealous detective. 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 there is a positive (if obvious and done to death) message to this film, there's no getting around the fact that this is a bad movie. Flat acting, stale jokes, corny dialogue, annoyingly repetitive background music, and cheap production values mar this faith-based comedy-drama in every scene. There are also plot holes that would be unintentionally hilarious if they weren't so excruciating and maddening. For example, the lead character, the greedy and selfish Paul, inherits a money-sprouting plant from his wife's uncle, but opts not to tell his wife about this and instead uses the money to buy a sports car and a riding lawnmower. The wife isn't as dumb as Paul seems to think she is, and questions Paul, who remains evasive.
Why, aside from making the lazy story a little too convenient, is Paul unable to tell his wife? It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters and takes precedence over such a mawkish, trite, and saccharine story, evidently, is the message. The message itself (greed bad, charity good) is, of course, a fine message to share, particularly for faith-based families looking for entertainment that runs counter to so many of the messages conveyed in our materialistic culture. But in sharing that message comes a responsibility to present entertainment worthy of the message, and in that regard, Root of the Problem fails completely.
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.