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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A wealthy Wall Street executive learns that love is more important than the acquisition of material goods.
Positive Role Models
Though he does act self-centered and materialistic throughout the movie, Jack learns to value love, friendship, and the bonds of family over greed and financial success.
Violence & Scariness
In a corner grocery store, a character pulls a gun on the clerks, then points it at the lead character, threatening to kill him.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references and situations, including adultery and a one-night stand. A woman is naked in a shower; the glass and steam mostly cover up her nudity but there's a glimpse of buttocks and breast. A married couple tries to have sex, remains clothed. Open talk between two married characters about having an affair with each other. Lead character shown in his underwear.
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Occasional profanity includes one use of "f--k" as well as "s--t," "prick," "hell," "damn," and "crap." Talk of one-night stands, affairs, and how a woman's husband "satisfies" her.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking at parties and at a bowling alley. Lead character drinks booze quickly to try to process what has happened to him. He compares it to an "acid trip." Characters turn to liquor to relieve stress, and a character makes a joke about his wife's drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Family Man is a 2000 movie starring Nicolas Cage as a wealthy investment banker who is given the opportunity to experience what his life would have been like had he decided to stay with his college girlfriend instead of going off to London to study economics. The movie has some mature themes, including adultery and one-night stands. A woman is naked in a shower; the glass and steam mostly cover up her nudity, but there's a glimpse of buttocks and breast. Jack and his wife start to have sex, but when he says something she finds inappropriate, she stops him. A woman suggests an affair, and Jack's friend tells him that it would be disastrous: "Don't screw up your whole life just because you're a little unsure about who you are." The movie does make it clear that loving, married sex is the ideal. Characters turn to liquor to relieve stress, and a character makes a joke about his wife's drinking. There is some strong language, including "s--t" and one use of "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's some predictability and awkward construction in this movie; it feels as if it were edited heavily after focus-group testing, leaving some characters and plot lines unresolved. Nonetheless, this is a holiday pleasure. Cage and Leoni are enormously appealing in their various incarnations. There are some funny lines and warm moments, especially when the one person Jack can't fool is his daughter, who knows this is not the daddy she loves and decides he must be an alien. And there is a satisfying resolution that incorporates the best of both options.
The grand tradition of "what if?" movies from A Christmas Carol to It's a Wonderful Life and the more recent Passion of Mind and Me Myself I show us an unhappy hero or heroine who finds out what life would have been like if he or she had made a different choice. Though in this version, Jack loved his life to begin with.
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.