A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Smosh: The Movie is a feature-length comedy starring popular YouTube comedy duo Smosh (aka Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla). Other well-known YouTubers also make appearances in this lowbrow adventure, which (despite not being that great) is likely to appeal to Smosh's YouTube devotees. There's regular use of strong language ("s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "d--kheads," "little bitch," and one "f--k"), some violence (one main character is beat up, an animated killer gorilla wields a chainsaw, a character is injured/dies again and again as the guys experience one video repeatedly, etc.), crass references to sex and arousal (a major character is exclusively referred to as "Butt Massage Girl"), as well as nonstop mentions of YouTube and other social media platforms.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
SMOSH: THE MOVIE is the feature-length movie starring YouTube comedy duo Smosh -- aka Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla -- whose YouTube channels boast more than 20 million subscribers. The movie's plot is simple and unapologetically ludicrous: Anthony, a pizza deliveryman, lives with Ian, who apparently does nothing but watch YouTube videos of a bikini-clad woman receiving a butt massage. As their 10th high school reunion approaches, Anthony discovers that an embarrassing video of him from senior year has been posted on YouTube. He's afraid that his high-school crush, Anna, will see the video, so he and Ian visit YouTube headquarters and demand an audience with "Mr. YouTube" (Michael Ian Black), who tells them that once a video is on YouTube, it can never be deleted. But through a magical loophole, the two can enter YouTube and change the video from the inside.
Is it any good?
Those who aren't already among the Smosh guys' millions of fans will likely wonder what makes them such a popular YouTube sensation. They have a Millennial Dumb and Dumber/slacker shtick that's funny for a second and then quickly grows tedious. Several of the supporting characters are themselves famous YouTube personalities -- like Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, Grace Helbig, Harley Morenstein, Mark Fischbach ("Markiplier"), and Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval. If these names mean nothing to you, this probably isn't a movie worth seeing. But if YouTubers are your (or your kid's) jam, you may delight in seeing your favorite Internet celebs in a new format.
Billed as a Bill & Ted for the next generation, Smosh doesn't take into consideration that while these guys are probably hilarious in digital shorts, carrying a movie (usually) requires actual acting skills, which these two don't seem up to the task of mastering. If Hollywood was looking for a movie that truly elevates web celebs to the status of pulling off a feature-length film, this isn't it. But for viewers who count themselves among Smosh's legion of fans, it's sure to be an enjoyable endeavor others won't understand.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of YouTube celebrities like the Smosh duo. Do you need to be existing YouTube fans to get the jokes and the cameos? Why are these guys famous? Do you think they're good actors, or do you prefer their shorter videos?
What other YouTube and Vine celebs do you think should get a chance at a movie? Or would they do better to stick with the platform that made them famous?
How is violence depicted in the movie? Is it meant to be funny? How does that affect its impact?
What role does technology play in the movie?
- In theaters: July 24, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: August 18, 2015
- Cast: Anthony Padilla, Ian Hecox, Michael Ian Black
- Director: Alex Winter
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual humor, language, some drug content and violence
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