Parents' Guide to

Standing Up, Falling Down

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Crystal, Schwartz make regret funny; substance use, cursing.

Movie NR 2020 91 minutes
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Crystal and Schwartz are comedy prizefighters: One jibs, the other jabs, and viewers are knocked out. The duo make a sensational comedy team, combining the old guard with the new. It feels authentic, nostalgic, exciting, and right. As Scott and Marty, the two comedians almost feel like extensions of each other. Their interactions are comfortable, and the dialogue so natural you might think they wrote it themselves (which is a real credit to screenwriter Peter Hoare). But the zippy patter goes well beyond that. Scott is a comedian, and humor roils in all of the little interactions of life -- whether it be a dad who doesn't stop watching TV to greet an estranged son or a mother who doesn't knock. Then there's Scott's other dynamic pairing: his relationship with his sister, Megan (brilliantly played by Grace Gummer). The siblings' interactions are full of quick-witted burns and loving slams.

Standing Up, Falling Down asks, in the characters' words, this question: Once you've "f--ked up" a relationship, can you "unf--k" it? The themes include life-altering mistakes, depression, suicide, infidelity, death, and lots of regret -- and it's hilarious. There's not much here to appeal to kids and teens, and that's probably a good thing: Director Matt Ratner sends mixed messages about drug and alcohol use. Marty is an alcoholic, and even though that makes him miss an important event and it's harming his relationship with his kids, he's also having a great time. When he gets high, he blows an important opportunity, but he makes a friend. The ultimate impression is that escaping life through substances is a blast -- too bad, because that's the only part of the movie that isn't funny.

Movie Details

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