A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive MessagesA rather complex message about opening your heart; i.e., it helps to open it a lot if you want to be a great writer, but it can also hurt a great deal. Characters in the movie are all searching for their own identities, artistic and otherwise, while still hanging onto family relationships and exploring romantic ones. There's also a small anti-drug message in the form of one of the minor characters.
Positive Role ModelsThree of the main characters are writers, and their trials and successes may encourage or inspire teens with a yen for writing. Overall the characters are fairly complex, and they often fail to do the right thing while struggling with their identities, lives, and loves.
Violence & ScarinessA couple of quick, mild fistfights. A teen punches a bully; later, the bully punches him back. The result isn't much more than bloody noses. In another scene, an adut assaults a teen boy by violently grabbing his nose, forcing him down, and then kicking him. (Although in the context of the scene, it could be argued that the boy deserved this; the man is trying to save the life of another teen.) Some arguing.
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Sex, Romance & NudityAll three of the main characters are sexually active. The father pines for his ex-wife while occasionally sleeping with a married neighbor; their lovemaking is shown and heard, but no nudity is seen. A teen girl is said to be promiscuous, though her sex acts are never shown. A teen boy finds a girlfriend, and she seduces him in a closet -- though, again, nothing is actually shown.
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LanguageLanguage is fairly strong, though not constant; words heard include "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "a--hole," "p---y," and "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & SmokingA teen supporting character is shown to be a drug addict and a cocaine user. Viewers see her snorting cocaine in a bathroom at a party; she checks into rehab by the movie's end. A teen boy smokes pot fairly regularly and comes home drunk several times; his character is seen as "blowing off steam" rather than being an addict. Other characters are seen drinking wine at dinner or other drinks in bars. An adult character smokes cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Stuck in Love is a drama filled with complex, flawed characters and interesting relationships. Though it features older teens as characters, the material is pretty edgy; a supporting teen character is shown to be a drug addict and a cocaine user, and the main characters drink and smoke pot regularly. The three main characters are also sexually active, though only the adult is shown having sex (no nudity). Language is strong, too, with several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and other words. Violence includes three brief fistfights that result in bloody noses. Even though it goes a bit over the top at one point, ultimately this is an unusually intuitive movie about writers, so teens interested in writing as a profession may be interested. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie's deep, multi-faceted characters result in terrific performances by the entire cast. Many movies about writers wind up taking a passive approach as the writer character sits back, observes, and records life as it happens around him or her. Writer/director Josh Boone has solved this dilemma with his complex, emotional portrait of family of writers. STUCK IN LOVE isn't really about the act of writing itself but rather the struggle with how much a writer needs to open up his or her heart to the world. The characters show varying degrees of this struggle, as well as the pain that can be associated with all of them. This is obviously Boone's strength.
Boone's visual style, too, is mainly in service of the characters, without any fancy flourishes. Where the movie steps wrong is in the subplot about a teen drug addict. Those scenes collapse into melodrama, shattering the movie's spell. But Stuck in Love quickly rights itself into a satisfying full circle.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.