A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Love is impossible to deny, and you know true love when you feel it. Women deserve equal treatment and to navigate their own lives. Sometimes people hold grudges and rivalries against their own interests.
Positive Role Models
Despite standards of her day, Rosaline insists on speaking her mind, holding professional ambitions, choosing her own future husband. Her father accepts her for who she is, but other men, like her uncle, believe she needs to be reined in. Rosaline and Juliet are both intelligent and kind, though Rosaline behaves deceitfully to try to win back a beau. Dario treats Rosaline as an equal.
Actors are of different races. One character is gay. Female characters are progressive for their era. Cast is largely American and British.
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Violence & Scariness
Men fight with swords and fists. A man is killed in a dispute not seen on-screen. Guards chase a couple and engage in a sword fight. A star-crossed lover drinks a poison that makes her appear dead.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss. A woman taunts a group of men to put their "big swords" back in their pants. A young woman reads a book on "Erotic Love" wide-eyed. A man appears topless and his bare chest distracts a woman.
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"F--k" (used once), "s--t," "hell," "ass," "son of a bitch," "crap," "blow me," "shrew," "idiot," "loon," "miscreant," "oh my God." "Christ" used as an exclamation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink at a tavern. Suggestion of a drug deal in a "special delivery" that's made. A young woman aims to appear dead by drinking a poison that paralyzes her body.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rosaline offers a comedic and contemporary take on the classic Shakespearean tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Also based on the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, the story modernizes its characters but maintains a period setting. The primary cast is diverse in terms of both race and gender identity, and the women, Rosaline (Kaitlyn Dever) and Juliet (Isabela Merced), are more outspoken and independent than the men of their era want them to be. Speaking of the men, they have sword fights (leading to one death not shown on-screen), sustain long-held family rivalries, and try to arrange marriages for their daughters. A star-crossed lover drinks a poison that makes her appear dead. Characters kiss, one makes a joke about men's "big swords," another consults a book titled "Erotic Love," and yet another is distracted by a bare-chested man. Adults drink at a tavern, and there's the suggestion of a drug deal. Language includes a single use of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "hell," "ass," "son of a bitch," "crap," "blow me," and various insults. 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 twist on the classic play adds characters, alters the ending, and imposes contemporary sensibilities, resulting in an entertaining but uneven romp. By mixing sumptuous period wardrobes and settings with modern characters, diction, and music, Rosaline differs from its contemporaries in the genre -- films like Enola Holmes and The Princess, which also foist a blatantly feminist perspective onto fairy tales and classic narratives. The novel approach mostly works, thanks to a charming lead cast (Dever, Teale, Merced, and Allen, coiffed to look like a young Heath Ledger). Much of the film's best humor involves the supporting cast: the fathers who begrudgingly accept their anachronistically progressive daughters (Bradley Whitford and Christopher McDonald), a nurse called Nurse whose actual nursing ability is ignored (Minnie Driver), and a slacker/stoner courier played by Moxie's Nico Hiraga.
Despite the twists in plot and character, not to mention Rosaline's My Best Friend's Wedding-style plotting against Romeo and Juliet, the storyline is ultimately predictable. The film also has some uneven pacing and feels bogged down at times by its own formula of superimposing contemporary archetypes and sass onto a 16th century story. The gay bestie in particular feels gratuitous, as does a topless scene starring Teale. Allen's Romeo comically turns out not to be the sharpest sword, a blowhard who repeats his few lines of romantic poetry to each new love interest. It's that kind of silliness that makes Rosaline fun and best enjoyed by not taking it too seriously.
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.
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