Parents' Guide to

The Cable Guy

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

A twisted comedy about TV addiction. Teens OK.

Movie PG-13 1996 96 minutes
The Cable Guy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 15+

Funny, good movie, but with a lot of sexual references

Common sense rating says no sex present, but there definitely is! Porno password, including joking about hiding an erection; “cream in his pants,” "knights get laid,” "he who hesitates masturbates," Steven has sex with a prostitute and after Chip tells Steven he can pay next time they discuss paying for sex. These are only a few of the sexual references from the movie. Usually Common sense errs on the conservative side (like rating a breastfeeding scene in Clash of the Titans as sexual), but this movie slipped through. For parents concerned about sex in movies watch this before you show your kids.
age 17+

Dark and mature, but not terrible

Funny cautionary tale about television and neglect. Good acting, worth seeing once. Typical PG-13 language and lots of references to and jokes about sex. Jim Carrey is a lunatic embodying messed-up tv lifestyles, and Matthew Broderick is trying to get back together with his girlfriend after she kicks him out of their house. Includes a steamy scene between Broderick and a prostitute (fully clothed), which leads to implied sex. Adults drink and talk about drinking, but it's not really important to the plot and nobody gets drunk. Despite its suggestive and overall very dark themes there isn't anything graphic, but I would be uncomfortable watching this movie with kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (27 ):

There are some truly crazy scenes here. The battle between Steven and Chip at Medieval Times is hilarious, as is the karaoke scene. This is vintage Carrey, before he took himself seriously as an actor. He's all funny faces and off-the-wall voices.

This is also a film by Ben Stiller, who cameos as Sam Sweet, the former child star accused of killing his twin. Stiller is obsessed with pop culture references, and there are a lot in the film. But remember: this is a morality tale of what happens when parents leave their children to be raised by TV. At one point, Chip laments, "I am the bastard son of Claire Huxtable. I am the lost Cunningham. I learned the facts of life from watching The Facts of Life." There's nothing subtle here. If you agree with the message, you'll enjoy the movie. If not, it may be too grating.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate