Parents' Guide to

The Female Brain

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Comedy about science behind romantic choices; sex, cursing.

Movie NR 2018 98 minutes
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This movie almost reaches the level of smart and quirky at times, and it's definitely designed for mature audiences with its sexual references and use of language, but it ultimately falls flat. The Female Brain feels overly literary, not in the sense of "high culture," but rather like something meant to be communicated in a written way, like a clever essay, or a recited stand-up act, which isn't surprising since Cummings is a stand-up comedian. The trouble is that nothing here is really funny.

The addition of overlong filmed vignettes depicting heterosexual couples struggling to overcome predetermined hormonal behaviors doesn't help. Sometimes dramatic issues are treated flippantly, as when a couple casually decides to divorce. They inform their young son, and he responds to the news with less interest than you'd expect if they had told him the TV wasn't working. With the focus on negative stereotypes, all exaggerated for comic effect, no one here is likable enough to sustain our interest, least of all the main character. The nicest surprise here is that former Detroit Piston basketball star Blake Griffin, playing a confused husband, turns out to have some talent as an actor.

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