Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

The Hudsucker Proxy

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dark Coen Brothers screwball comedy has suicide, smoking.

Movie PG 1994 111 minutes
The Hudsucker Proxy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Fun and unique but with dark topics

Suicide is a major plot-driver, so be prepared for complicated questions from younger kids. It is a dark comedy, which can also be confusing for the younger ones and definitely not every family's cup of tea. We watched with a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old. Both thought it was a fun movie and liked it. the older one pretty much got it all, although I did have to pause right at the start to explain what the intro narration meant and I had to explain some of the metaphors/expressionism. The younger one was frequently confused but enjoyed the humor and the tone enough to like it even with the confusion. This was one of my favorite movies when I was a teen, and it was fun to see how it was viewed by a new generation.
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This dark parody reveals that, even in the "lesser works" of the vast Coen Brothers filmography, there's so much to enjoy. While rarely in anyone's Top 5 Coen Brothers movies, The Hudsucker Proxy, a celebration of the "screwball comedies" of mid-20th century is as hilarious as it is knowledgeable of what made the movies of Preston Sturges, Frank Capra, and Howard Hawks work as pure entertainment. The wisecracks, the character types (Steve Buscemi as a beatnik bar owner, for instance, or John Mahoney as the editor in chief), the irony and the occasional silliness, and the lowest lows and highest highs of the last 30 minutes reveal a deep knowledge and appreciation of these movies. As the jokes rapid-fire one after the other, it's easy to become sucked into the exaggerated and self aware world the Coen Brothers have created.

While one could argue that Tim Robbins doesn't quite pull off the "pure-hearted rube from the sticks" act, and that Jennifer Jason Leigh's Hepburn-esque (Katherine, not Audrey) affectations get to be a bit much, such arguments miss the point. These ironies and self awareness of the form are part of the overall enjoyment. Besides, it wasn't like great thespians landed all the roles in the screwball comedies of the past. It's not the best Coen Brothers movie, but it successfully conveys this idea of the screwball comedies that presented entertainment as a temporary respite from The Great Depression or World War II.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate