The Chaperone Movie Poster Image

The Chaperone

(i)

 

Wrestler's family comedy is forgettable but OK for tweens.
  • Review Date: February 18, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most of the movie's messages center around the idea that people, even convicted criminals, are capable of redemption and rehabilitation. By following self-help advice and studying philosophy, Ray turns his life around and gets to know his daughter.

Positive role models

Ray is ultimately a positive role model because he chooses not to help his old criminal associates rob a bank and stays true to his decision to be a moral man and a better father who tells the truth. But he does fail to call the police and inadvertently puts his daughter's middle-school class in harm's way.

Violence

Ray punches a guy in the face. A couple of boys fight in the halls until Ray breaks them apart. A bank robbery at gunpoint ends with a car chase that results in the criminals crashing into a diaper truck. People are held at gun point, and two people are carjacked. Criminals wave guns at each other during a short stand-off. A girl is kidnapped and threatened. There's a pivotal fight between Ray and three criminals with punching and kicking and martial arts. Ray is tied up and punched repeatedly. Ray's ex-wife slaps him twice.

Sex

Minor flirting between two teenagers and two adults. Ray makes a suggestive reference to a prisoner about how he should sleep with his back "against the wall."

Language

Some insults and rude language such as "stupid," "buttwipe," "shut-up," "losers," "crap," "hell," "take a leak," "dirty," "low-life," "son of a," "moron," "idiot," "damn," "stupid," and the like.

Consumerism

Product placements or overt references to the SmartCar, iPod, iPad, iPhone, Apple MacBook, Sheraton New Orleans, and Frank Sinatra.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults hold wine glasses in their hands (but viewers don't see them drinking it).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this family comedy starring WWE wrestler Paul "Triple H" Levesque features a fair bit of violence (some of it comical) and insulting language, but it also has a worthwhile lesson about redemption. The violence includes guns and sticks being waved around, a couple of characters (including a young girl) being kidnapped and/or tied up, and shots being fired (but no actual body count). For a PG-13 movie, the language is on the mild side, but what's lacking in outright profanity is made up for in taunting comments like "losers," "stupid," "moron," and "idiot." Father-daughter relationships are explored, as is the nature of rehabilitation.

What's the story?

Ray "Ray-Ray" Bradstone (Paul "Triple H" Levesque) has just exited prison after a seven-year stint for driving a bank robbers' getaway car. While serving his time, Ray reformed himself with the assistance of self-help books and a call-in therapy show. His goal after prison is to reconnect with his middle school-aged daughter, Sally (Ariel Winter of Modern Family), and ex-wife, Lynne (Annabeth Gish). Unfortunately for Ray, Sally wants nothing to do with him, and Lynne is happily dating a reliable doctor. Meanwhile, Ray's old pal Larue (Kevin Corrigan) demands that he be the "wheel man" for one more heist, for old times' sake. But Ray has a change of heart and ends up volunteering as THE CHAPERONE for Sally's overnight class trip to New Orleans. Through a series of improbable events, the stolen bag of cash winds up on the school bus, so the police and Larue chase Ray to New Orleans, where Sally is caught between believing her father's innocence and handing him over to the authorities.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

For a wrestler-turned-actor vehicle, The Chaperone isn't all bad. There are plenty of supporting players who do a decent job with their roles, especially Winter as the confused and hurt Sally and Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson) as the frazzled junior-high sponsor in charge of the trip. Corrigan can always be counted on to be a funny gangster type, and it's good to see that '80s favorite Gish can still pop up as the occasional mom in a movie, even if she has very little to do here.

Even Levesque himself isn't horrible; he's just trying to fit one of the two acceptable roles for WWE wrestlers -- guys out for revenge (The Marine) or scary dudes who are secretly great at childcare (think Dwayne Johnson). The problem is that the movie's script is a tired amalgamation of one too many family film cliches. There's the kids-save-the-day formula, plus the reformed ex-con times the deadbeat dad trying to redeem himself. And, of course, the Home Alone bits of physical comedy meshed with violence -- like criminals who crash into dirty diaper trucks or who are generally outsmarted by young, techno-savvy kids. Were this an ABC Family TV movie, it would be easy to forgive the trite storyline, but given that families have to pay to see this, it could and should be so much better. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. Is Ray a positive role model? How does the movie portray him? Do you think his actions made him worthy of Sally's trust?

  • Ray claims he deserves to be in Sally's life because he's her father. Do you think a father-daughter relationship can change in just a couple of days? Is Ray a good dad?

  • How does Paul "Triple-H" Levesque compare to other famous wrestlers who've tried to make it on the big screen?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 18, 2011
DVD release date:June 14, 2011
Cast:Annabeth Gish, Ariel Winter, Kevin Corrigan, Paul Levesque
Director:Stephen Herek
Studio:Samuel Goldwyn Company
Genre:Comedy
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some violence, rude humor and language

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJustino4 April 23, 2011

Little but Harsh

The violence in this movie could be roughly accepted in a PG movie due to being little but harsh violence. For example: there is not a lot of violence but when there is, it is somewhat bloody. There is no sexual content in this movie, but there are jokes of rape in jail throughout the movie. (briefly.) Other than the violence and rape jokes, this could easily be a PG movie and is a good movie at that.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Parent of a 11 year old Written bybenito jug March 1, 2011
where is this showing
Teen, 14 years old Written bywildivy September 3, 2012

Great movie!

I loved this movie! A few swear words, but not too many. It is a wonderful movie for teens.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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