A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
We all need to feel purposeful and useful in our lives, no matter what age. We tend to regret the things we didn't do. The world needs funny people, not just on stage, but in life.
Positive Role Models
Al is a lost soul after his wife's death and retirement. Buddy is still a live wire at 80, but gets itchy for action when his girlfriend dies. At his age, he still wants to follow his dreams.
Violence & Scariness
Several people are reported to have died of more or less natural causes. A man has been given a terminal diagnosis.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man sleeps with his girlfriend every night at the retirement home. A man who hasn't dated in many years isn't sure the woman he has met wants to have sex with him. Men joke about erectile dysfunction and the need for Viagra. Someone recalls seeing "a broad f--k a burro" in a Tijuana night club.
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"F--k," "s--t," "d--k," "t-ts," "bitch," "blow," "peeing," "ass," "come," "orgasm," and "horny." Middle-finger gesture shown.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke marijuana and ingest mushrooms. Crack and meth are mentioned in jokes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Laugh is a comedy about an aging talent agent and an aging comic coping with retirement and feeling relegated to the indignities of old age. The agent resists being deposited in a home by a caring granddaughter, but once there meets a former client and, like two mischievous adolescents, they escape and hit the road to revive the comic's career. A man receives a terminal diagnosis. Adults smoke marijuana and ingest mushrooms. Crack and meth are mentioned in jokes. The language is salty, including "f--k," "s--t," "t-ts," and "d--k," and discussion of elderly sex is frank. But the focus is on the need for each of us, no matter how old, to feel useful and engaged in life. It's unlikely that teens will find this investigation into the march toward mortality of tremendous interest, but its messages might be useful nevertheless. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie, like the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, comically looks at the anguish of aging baby boomers as they lose loved ones and negotiate their increasing marginalization. It's not necessarily a subject even the most mature teens would appreciate. Unlike Kominsky, the script here is uneven and characters are underdeveloped. The Last Laugh's fundamental premise, that a retired agent could, in just a matter of hours, arrange gigs all over the country, certainly seems questionable, and a hallucinatory song-and-dance number feels awkward and out of place.
But Dreyfuss, who is 71 and playing an 80-year-old, is vivid and animated in the flashier, funnier role. Chase, at 74, plays a phlegmatic character, the story's straight man. His slapstick comedies of the past showcased his snark and physicality, but here his dramatic talents may not measure up to what the story requires. Still, the movie is likable and at times touching.
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.
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