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Parents' Guide to

Soul Food

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

'90s family drama has language and sex.

Movie R 1997 115 minutes
Soul Food Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

all about enabling awful family members

This could've been a good movie, besides one subplot. Spoilers ahead: One of the sisters' husband cheats on her with a cousin. At the end of the movie, this cheater and the cheatassist are invited to the big family dinner. The victim is expected to just suck it up and tolerate their presence. She should've gotten a divorce and refused to have dinner with those two. A family that betrays people isn't a real family.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Part of the considerable charm of this film is the fact that it's narrated by a precocious child, Ahmad, but its inconsistencies also stem from that decision. He narrates a story that describes every event, even ones hidden from him by grownups who know he wouldn't understand. So, how is he describing what he has no way of knowing? It's a small point but it also poses the problem of who Soul Food is for. Sexual content and language make it a bit too much for kids who are the narrator's age, around 12, yet 12-year-olds would certainly appreciate the reverence for the warmth, security, and loyalty that family represents and that the movie promotes.

Also, some may question the way women here nod sagely as they cater to supposed male vanity and frailty. According to the movie, wives need to refrain from helping husbands when they're down and out, lest such assistance rob the men of their dignity. Younger audiences may not appreciate some of these dated ideas but most will identify with the love and craziness that comes with being part of a family.

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