Parents' Guide to

Showing Roots

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Uneven racial comedy has cursing, slurs, and some sexuality.

Movie NR 2017 100 minutes
Showing Roots Poster Image

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Improbabilities abound, stereotypes bloom, and fairy tales come true in this lightweight TV-movie, but that might be enough for viewers looking for by-the-numbers, feel-good entertainment. The performances in Showing Roots are uneven at best, with Uzo Aduba and Adam Brody making the most of their underwritten roles, and other notable performers defeated by both the writing and the direction. Earnest in intent, the movie tries to make "bigotry" lighthearted and easily fixable. And the black women who throw down the gauntlet to their white counterparts in this fictionalized city find their inner voices in the blink of an eye. Cecily Tyson, a wonder as Kizzy in the original mini-series, appears here just so she can ironically throw her wig into the river and reclaim her true heritage. It's a shame that the filmmakers opted to include a brief but obvious sexual encounter, and several barely-veiled references to oral sex and masturbation, because younger teens might have enjoyed the story.

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