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 Layover is a comedy in the vein of The Hangover and Bridesmaids in which the humor revolves around the exploits of two sexually-aggressive women. The best friends compete for the sexual attentions of the handsome stranger they meet when their flight is delayed. Bare butts are seen. A couple having sex is seen but no genitals are shown. A woman dances provocatively in a revealing dress until one of her breasts is exposed, although it's not shown. Adults drink alcohol and take anti-anxiety medication. Two women have a fight. One punches the other in the throat and a bookcase falls on them. Expect to hear the words "f--k," "s--t," and "d--k." A man falls asleep at the wheel after drinking wine that was laced with a sedative. He crashes his car.
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What's the story?
THE LAYOVER begins as Meg (Kate Upton), a deceptive and irresponsible cosmetics entrepreneur, lies to a client and loses her livelihood. Her roommate Kate (Alexandra Daddario), a teacher, allows a student to read in her class from a graphic novel that describes octopus tentacles as male genitals, which leads her principal to suggest she resign. Meg's response is to use Kate's credit card to book a trip early the next day to a Florida beach. A hurricane diverts their flight to St. Louis so they spend the next couple of days trying to lure Ryan (Matt Barr), the handsome firefighter in the seat between them, to bed. Meg suggests they take a hot air balloon ride, knowing Kate is afraid of heights. Kate goes anyway and gets sick. Ryan is pressed to get to a Florida wedding so he gets a ride with Craig (Matt Jones) for the 17-hour drive to Florida. Meg and Kate invite themselves along. Meg locks Kate in a filthy gas station restroom, forcing her to climb out a window into a pile of garbage. Seeing Ryan's interest in Kate, Meg also puts sedatives in a wine bottle Kate turns down. The driver drinks it, falls asleep, and crashes the car. Both women have sex with Ryan, but Kate and Ryan's activities are shown. When it turns out the wedding is Ryan's, Kate and Meg taxi to Florida to warn the bride, only to discover the bride isn't terribly nice. Meg recognizes that men who don't have movie-star looks, like Craig, can be great companions, and she apologizes to Kate for being awful.
Is it any good?
The trouble with this movie is that it tries to mimic such successfully-raunchy films as The Hangover and Bridesmaids but fails to create characters anyone can care about. Older teens may be able to laugh at the repeating pattern of terrible decisions being made by two women whose careers seem to be in shambles, but can anyone believe they'd go on an expensive vacation when their livelihoods are in jeopardy? Would they take an expensive taxi ride to save a bride-to-be they don't even know from marrying a seemingly-bad guy? Burp and fart jokes fit right in. If the writing were sharper and less reliant on unlikely developments, The Layover might be more watchable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about over-the-top comedy in movies and whether more substance is needed for the humor to work. Is The Layover funny? Why or why not?
Meg keeps repeating that her friendship with Kate is important to her at the same time that she repeatedly treats Kate terribly. Does the movie persuade you that the friendship is believable?
The movie suggests that sometimes people who behave stupidly and selfishly can become less stupid and selfish. Do you believe in Meg's transformation?
- In theaters: August 3, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: October 3, 2018
- Cast: Kate Upton, Alexandra Daddario, Matt Barr, Matt Jones
- Director: William H. Macy
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: for language throughout, sexual content and some drug material.
- Last updated: May 21, 2020
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