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The Man in the Moon
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this movie will appeal to teens, particularly because of the popularity of its star Reese Witherspoon, it deals realistically and seriously with issues such as: trust, family bonds, adolescent sexuality, and loyalty, as well as the fragility and unpredictability of life. References and scenes that depict kissing, lovemaking, and partial nudity are designed to treat the characters, as well as the audience, with respect and dignity; nothing feels gratuitous for teens and up. There is a particularly shocking farm accident that has dire results.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Dani Trant, at 14, is midway between being a child and being a grownup. Her family is close, loving, expanding (a fourth baby is due to arrive soon), and just making ends meet in the 1950s on a farm in rural Louisiana. When Court Foster (Jason London) returns with his recently widowed mom to the place next door, Dani falls head-over-heels in love for the first time. But after Court meets her older sister, Maureen (Emily Warfield), Dani's feelings about her sister, Court, and about herself, are painfully threatened. Succeeding events and one tragedy, profoundly test both Dani and her family.
Is it any good?
Reese Witherspoon's debut performance in THE MAN IN THE MOON is an astonishing example of the right role in the right movie for the right young actress. This coming-of-age story, told with simplicity, gentleness, and a very basic faith in the power of human goodness and truth, succeeds on every level. Set in 1950, released in 1991, its message is timeless, its characters rich and nuanced. It's a familiar story made fresh and original by talented, dedicated filmmakers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how times have changed since the 1950s when this movie is set. What was important to teens then that is still important today? How does each main character show both positive and negative behavior, and how do these characters struggle between having what they want and doing the right thing? Did your feelings about Maureen change during this movie?
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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.