A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this mature Sofia Coppola drama -- which has some of the same dreamy feel of her hit Lost in Translation (but with less humor) -- is filled with adult situations, mainly sexual. The main character, a successful actor, has sex with many partners, and some women are shown topless. Characters smoke cigarettes often and sometimes drink hard liquor. Language is relatively sparse but includes words like "f--k." Several brands are also featured, most notably the Ferrari that the main character drives. The movie is beautifully crafted, but teens may not be interested in a story of a selfish father finding redemption through his daughter.
What's the story?
Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a successful Hollywood actor living in the Chateau Marmont. He drifts through his days drinking, smoking, indulging in sex, occasionally dealing with his publicist, and generally trying to stave off sadness and boredom. When his ex-wife suddenly drops off their daughter, Cleo (Elle Fanning), for an indefinite stay, Johnny slowly begins to understand that family may be more important than his career and all its perks. But now that he's made this discovery, how can he change his life?
Is it any good?
For all its wandering, this is a very deliberate, masterful, and ultimately very touching movie. Some people may view Sofia Coppola as a privileged daughter of Hollywood royalty who stumbled into filmmaking after trying and abandoning several other careers. Her movies aren't exactly plot-driven, which isn't everyone's cup of tea. But once you get right down to it, she's one of the most ferociously talented filmmakers working today.
Like Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, SOMEWHERE is also about how people, even if they're successful and surrounded, can grow lonely and bored, and how the right soul at the right time can open their hearts. Somewhere is sparser and moodier than Coppola's previous films and has less humor. But it's no less riveting for the way it captures a poetic mood in each scene and for the way the seemingly random scenes always fold back upon and reference one another.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages about sex and relationships. How does the main character view sex? Is that a healthy perspective? Parents, talk to your teens about your own family's values on these subjects.
If Johnny is a successful actor, shouldn't he be happy and have everything he wants? Why might that life be unfulfilling?
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