A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Last of Robin Hood centers on a relationship between aging movie star Erroll Flynn (Kevin Kline) and an underage teenage girl (Dakota Fanning). It's a scandalous -- and illegal -- romance, and the film veers between portraying it as predatory and loving. There are some brief scenes of the couple in bed, and sex sounds are heard, though there's no graphic nudity. The girl's age is discussed frequently. Many people smoke cigarettes, as was common at the time the movie takes place (late '50s), and there's also a fair amount of drinking, some drug use, and swearing (including "f--k" and "c--t.")
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What's the story?
Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning) was a 15-year-old actress-dancer-singer when she met the mighty Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline), then 33 years her senior. They were introduced at his request, and so began a controversial relationship -- launched dubiously when he forced himself upon her -- that lasted for two years, encouraged by Beverly's mother, Florence (Susan Sarandon). By the time Flynn passes away at the age of 50, Beverly comes to think of him as the love of her life, but theirs is a complex, difficult relationship -- like hers with her mother -- that shapes her forever.
Is it any good?
For a story rife with scandal, THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD is curiously lacking in energy. Scenes plod along from one to the next, bereft of tension or momentum. It's a shame, especially for Sarandon, who delivers yet another strong, interesting characterization of a compelling, deeply flawed woman. She can do little wrong. Too bad the film as a whole doesn't live up to her performance.
Which brings us to another issue: chemistry. Or the lack thereof between Fanning and Kline (whose portrayal of Flynn is, as is his usual, excellent, if a little removed). We need to understand what kept, not just brought, Errol and Beverly together. But as it stands, we're left to puzzle out the attraction (if any), given the serious lack of heat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how The Last of Robin Hood depicts love. Was Beverly and Errol's relationship a healthy one? Was it really love? What role does sex play? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Do you think movies that take place during a time when smoking was common should always include it? Would it feel less accurate if the characters didn't smoke?
For kids who love drama and romance
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