The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

  • Review Date: July 3, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 76 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Brothers reunite in warm indie dramedy; some language.
  • Review Date: July 3, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 76 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

After years of fighting and competing, brothers learn to set aside their differences and love each other. This brings the rest of the family closer as well.

Positive role models

Most of the characters are selfish and deceitful in many ways. They're all good people, but when they get together as a family, they regress to childish behavior.

Violence

Two brothers have a fistfight, with pushing and wrestling. Characters also argue a great deal, and in a few scenes, the main character explodes into fits of rage and anger. There are also some somewhat tense events in the competition, such as a fierce arm-wrestling match.

Sex

The main character is married, and he's shown being affectionate and comfortable with his wife. They kiss once or twice, and she sits with him in the bathroom while he takes a bath (no graphic nudity shown). The other major character is briefly seen in a strip club talking to a stripper, but there's no nudity.

Language

"F--k" is used more than a dozen times throughout, as well as "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "crap," "suck," "goddamn," "d--k," "hell," and "son of a bitch," as well as "God" and "Jesus" (as exclamations). Some swearing comes from a pre-teen boy, and adults swear in front of him as well.

Consumerism

Slurpees are shown and mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults occasionally drink beer. The main character takes prescription medication (presumably for depression). His wife sneaks off to smoke a cigarette in one scene.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Do-Deca-Pentathlon is an independent dramedy from filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass. The biggest issue is language, with more than a dozen uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and other words, some of which are heard in front of, or from, a pre-teen boy. Characters argue and fight; the main character throws a few angry, raging fits, and there's a big fistfight. There's no real sex, but a husband and wife are comfortable and affectionate with each other, and one character is briefly seen in a strip club (no nudity). Characters occasionally drink or smoke cigarettes. The movie is more likely to appeal to grown-ups, though fans of the Duplass brothers will certainly want to see it.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Middle-aged Mark (Steve Zissis) prepares to take his wife and son back to his childhood home for his birthday party. He hopes that his brother Jeremy (Mark Kelly) won't be there. Years earlier, the brothers held a competition, "the do-deca-pentathlon" -- 25 events, including push-ups, pool, arm-wrestling, and breath-holding -- that ended controversially and left their relationship in tatters. But Jeremy does arrive, and it's not long before the brothers start ripping at each other. And thus, the competition begins anew, but Mark must keep it a secret from his wife (Jennifer Lafleur), who fears that it will put Mark under too much stress. Will the brothers' conflict finally be resolved, or will it tear the family apart in the meantime?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass have done it again, using their sharp writing, appealingly hangdog characters, and no-frills filmmaking to come up with another winner. Even better, they've cooked up some strong characters and believable family relationships and played them out in an economic 76 minutes. Despite THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON's focus on the two brothers, the wife, mother, and son characters aren't left behind.

Actors Kelly and Zissis conjure up a genuine brotherly chemistry and turn in emotionally raw -- and physically demanding -- performances. The movie deals with the potentially uncomfortable modern-day man-child syndrome, but it points to love and acceptance as a possible solution, and it does so with a generous helping of humor and levity. Indeed, the balance of comedy and drama here is just right, and The Do-Deca-Pentathlon never runs out of steam, heart, or laughs.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between the brothers. What causes them to fight like this? Why would the fight go on for years and years? Do you think it's realistic?

  • The Do-Deca-Pentathlon ultimately has a positive message about communicating and bringing families back together, but are there any positive role models? If so, who, and why?

  • Have you ever competed with your brothers or sisters? Was it fun or stressful? What's the appeal of competition or sports?

  • Jeremy wonders why Mark is so unhappy when he "has everything," i.e. a wife and a son, whereas Mark is jealous of Jeremy's "freedom." Are either of them correct?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 6, 2012
DVD release date:September 18, 2012
Cast:Jennifer Lafleur, Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis
Directors:Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Studios:Fox Searchlight, Red Flag Releasing
Genre:Drama
Topics:Brothers and sisters
Run time:76 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

This review of The Do-Deca-Pentathlon was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 10, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

the do deca pentathlon

Families can talk about the relationship between the brothers. What causes them to fight like this? Why would the fight go on for years and years? Do you think it's realistic? The Do-Deca-Pentathlon ultimately has a positive message about communicating and bringing families back together, but are there any positive role models? If so, who, and why? Have you ever competed with your brothers or sisters? Was it fun or stressful? What's the appeal of competition or sports? Jeremy wonders why Mark is so unhappy when he "has everything," i.e. a wife and a son, whereas Mark is jealous of Jeremy's "freedom." Are either of them correct?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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