A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that She's Funny That Way is a farcical comedy with mature themes -- including infidelity, prostitution, and stalking -- that make it a little too intense for younger audiences. There's no nudity (in fact, there's not much action at all, considering it's a movie about a prostitute), but you can expect lots of innuendo, sexual references, and a couple of scenes in which sex is implied, though the only body part shown in s a man's naked chest. Adults drink socially, and there's some swearing ("s--t," "f--k," "damn").
What's the story?
Broadway director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson) has a penchant for dating escorts and gifting them with tens of thousands of dollars so they can leave the business and chase their dreams. But Arnold's plan backfires when his most recent date, Izzy (Imogen Poots), auditions for a role in his play, and his actress wife (Kathryn Hahn) and the playwright (Will Forte) both grow enamored of her. Arnold tries to keep their tryst a secret, but the play's leading actor (Rhys Ifans) has cottoned on to the truth, and so has an angry therapist (Jennifer Aniston) who treats Izzy -- and who happens to be dating the playwright.
Is it any good?
SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY is a great movie masquerading as a mediocre one. It should have been funnier than it is, given its bona fides: Peter Bogdanovich in the director's chair, and a fine cast that includes Wilson, Hahn, Ifans, Forte, Poots, and Aniston. But somehow, the parts don't add up to a princely sum. Wilson's Arnold is reminiscent of his daydreaming writer in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, but has little of the previous character's charm. Aniston, while perfect in timing, seems out of place. And Poots makes a hearty attempt, but her Izzy (not to mention her accent) doesn't persuade.
Most important, this screwball comedy lacks the energy and quick pace (including rat-tat-tat dialogue delivery), that the genre demands. Though it's entertaining enough, watch the movie for what might have been, not what it is.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how She's Funny That Way approaches its fairly edgy themes and subjects with humor. Does this work? Does tackling tough topics with humor make them easier to talk about/process?
How does the film portray sex? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values on the topic.
Is Izzy a sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Arnold? Is he a good guy or not? Generous or manipulative?
- In theaters: August 21, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: November 3, 2015
- Cast: Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Rhys Ifans, Will Forte
- Director: Peter Bogdanovich
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some language including sexual references
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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