A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bullies are everywhere -- even inside of our nerdy anti-hero, Harold. And though the message in the very end has to do with Harold being true to himself, he depends on his uncle's potion to get him as far as he goes. Lots of macho posturing to get the girl and violence to back up the posturing.
Violence & Scariness
Harold's enemies are many. He gets wedgies and is beat up at every turn -- even his friends smack him. Two bullies argue over which part to beat up first, saying, "You take the midsection and I'll take the face." The battle scene at the end might frighten youngest viewers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is one human female in the cast and she's not treated as a colleague or a friend, but as an object of desire. In one scene, Harold plugs his female robot side-kick into his grandpa's computer against her will. Later, Harold gets a kissing lesson from his inner voice, telling him to tilt his head sideways and open his mouth.
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"You suck," "I'm trying to knock some sense into you," "Mama's about to lay a smackdown on your butt," "you're stupid."
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Products & Purchases
Every kid at the Cerebrum Academy has access to a motor bike. Huge computers and everything a nerdy kid could want is available.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Harold makes a chemical formula to bring out his coolest inner self and gets drunk on the mixture, slurring his words and acting inebriated. He depends on the potion to perform better and to get the girl. It tempts him terrifically throughout the movie, and he ultimately succumbs to the temptation, licking it off the floor when it spills-- just like a real addict.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Nutty Professor -- also called The Nutty Professor II: Facing the Fear -- doesn't have much to do with the Jerry Lewis classic, even though Lewis does provide the voice of Harold's grandfather. There's lots of bullying, and Harold becomes addicted to the chemical formula he develops. The film is less about facing fear than being overwhelmed by terrifying situations -- stick to the original if you're looking for a good movie for kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
All of the cool gadgets that could have been displayed in this movie take a backseat to the social pressures that Harold is faced with. Sadly, Jerry Lewis and Drake Bell's voice talents are largely wasted on a script that focuses on getting the girl and getting beaten up. Particularly disturbing is the inner voice that urges Harold to drink the potion so that he can be cool. Sounds a little bit like peer pressure to drink. Jerry Lewis' inner cool guy also appears as an alter-ego character called Buddy Love, who fights with Harold's alter-ego, Jack. So not only are bullies attacking Harold from the outside world, but he's bullied by his inner voice and has a fistfight with his grandfather. Not cool.
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.