The Accidental Husband



Sweet, teen-friendly rom-com borders on the cliched.
  • Review Date: February 20, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Uma Thurman’s character dispenses sage advice about marriage -- for example, roughly 43 percent of nuptials end in divorce, so it’s important to pick the right partner -- but, as is typical in rom-coms, the movie’s premise contradicts this somewhat.

Positive role models

The film’s central romantic setup begins with a lie, but everything that follows comes from the heart. Everyone just wants to find happiness, but the film, like many others like it, tends to generalize love.


Two men exchange sharp words over a girl.


A passionate embrace (kissing, groping) in an elevator, while security watches via camera; a woman takes her top off in front of a guy (she’s wearing a camisole underneath). A quick soft-focus moment showing a couple in bed.


From “ass” to “crap” to “bulls--t,” and one instance of “f--k.”


One character totes a plastic bag with the logo for the pharmacy, Duane Reade, clearly visible. At a bar, name brands and logos for beer, including Heineken and Bass, are displayed.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Friends, old and new, down shots at a bar, and one of them gets very drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this by-the-book romantic comedy is entertaining enough, and may offer laughs to teens who adore the genre. The sexual situations are very mild for the PG-13 rating, the language is only occasionally spicy, and a character gets very drunk in a bar scene.

What's the story?

Dr. Emma Lloyd (Uma Thurman) has the inside scoop on relationships, and she’s become famous for the zinging opinions she shares on the subject as a Manhattan-based radio talk show host. She has no patience for those who pine for Prince Charming, and she believes women shouldn’t settle for second best. She ought to know; her fiance (Colin Firth) is the perfect specimen. When an avid listener dumps her boyfriend, Patrick (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), after taking Lloyd’s longtime compatibility test and finds her relationship wanting, he’s hungry for revenge. His plan: To get a friend to hack into city records so it shows he’s listed as Lloyd’s husband, a mess she’ll have to undo so she can walk down the aisle. But doing so will complicate things quite a bit.

Is it any good?


Two people from very different walks of life fall in love under the oddest of circumstances. They start out attached to other people, but end up together. So what else is new? THE ACCIDENTAL HUSBAND is enjoyable enough; some twists -- there’s one setup that unfolds at a book party -- are actually hilarious. On the whole, however, it’s so indistinct how could it possibly offend? There’s even the requisite, albeit brief, singalong. (Since My Best Friend’s Wedding, what rom-com doesn’t have this?)

Thurman tries valiantly to keep the audience from realizing the material’s formulaic, and her efforts, for the most part, pay off. Morgan and Firth are quite game, too. The cinematography, crisp and pretty and visiting less-known NYC locales like Astoria, helps. But overacting from some of the supporting characters dilutes an already watery stew, except for Isabella Rossellini, Brooke Adams, and still-suave Sam Shepard in surprising and delightful supporting turns.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about true love, or as the film likes to put it, “real love.” Is there such a thing? Do people only have one soulmate?

  • What about Emma’s advice? Does the film subvert what she’s espousing in the movie? How?

  • What about the genre itself: Do romantic comedies do love a disservice? If yes, how?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 10, 2009
DVD release date:November 10, 2009
Cast:Colin Firth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Uma Thurman
Director:Griffin Dunne
Studio:Sony Pictures
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual content and brief strong language.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe May 27, 2010
This looks so cute! I can't wait to see it!
Teen, 15 years old Written byTotally500 July 4, 2011

a accedinal film

A fine film with lots of surprise moments and laughter that is accendinal
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2010

The Accidental Husband

Rated PG-13 For Some Sexual Content And Brief Strong Language
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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