A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There is someone for everyone.
Positive Role Models
Karl is a contrarian who arrogantly reveals prejudices against women almost every time he opens his mouth. Halfway through the film, that personality disappears and is replaced with one of a funny, endearing, sympathetic, kind, and caring person. While he makes that transformation, the therapist who has been kind, empathetic, cautious, and professional becomes reckless, cynical, and unprofessional.
The cast is mostly White German with people of color in secondary roles. A misogynistic man mocks modern women for being "self-optimized," "shrill," worrying about using gender pronouns, and being mad about not having enough seats on corporation boards. He says that "women have yet to grasp that freedom carries a price," although he doesn't specify what the price is. He says they are oversensitive and that emotional wounds should be "just another day at the office" for them. Those women are "sissies," he says, and adds that calling women that name proves that he doesn't discriminate by limiting his use of that offensive word to men. Karl tells a broken-hearted man to "be a man," to solve his problems. Karl's roommate is bisexual. A male blind date comes to the door, looks the roommate over, and says, "Sorry, you're not my type at all" and leaves, suggesting that looks are a primary driver in relationships.
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Violence & Scariness
An angry woman hits a man and he is next seen in a neck brace in an ambulance.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults are seen in bed kissing, presumably before and after sex. A man says that he wants to have "uncommitted sex," differentiating it from just plain sex by emphasizing he doesn't want a commitment.
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Infrequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "hell," "damn," "p---y," "ass," "sissy," and "screw."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults get drunk and smoke weed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Heartbreak Agency is a German romance about an angry, insensitive male chauvinist who writes an article mocking the work of a woman trying to help people recover from heartbreak. Language includes infrequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "hell," "damn," "p---y," "ass," "sissy," and "screw." Adults get drunk and smoke weed. A man and woman are seen in bed kissing, presumably before and after having sex. A man says that he wants to have "uncommitted sex." In German with English subtitles. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Many moments in The Heartbreak Agency are sweet and involving, but to get to them, we are asked to believe a self-centered boor has had a complete personality transplant. A cruel, insensitive guy becomes sweet and caring out of nowhere. Once the transplant takes effect, he is good company, but how did he get there? Karl's obliviousness to the needs of women echoes the popular Barbie movie's portrayal of men as clueless boobs, but Karl is several steps worse. He actively disdains any emphasis on or investigation of human feelings as a weak feminization of the world he lives in. In contrast, Maria is caring and generous, even treating some clients without charge.
Additionally, the world created here bears little resemblance to reality. How did the piece run in the magazine without an editor reading it first? And why is it that when people can't reach each other by phone to deliver important information, they don't text? There is no doubt how this will end, either.
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.