The One I Wrote For You

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
The One I Wrote For You Movie Poster Image
Sappy, music-filled film has positive message, some cursing.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Having integrity and being true to yourself is more important than being popular or successful.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although Ben makes mistakes along the way, he ultimately behaves with integrity and is true to himself.


Ben throws things in his dressing room when he's upset. Ben's dad falls and is taken to the hospital.


A married couple kisses. Ben is shown in a picture with "groupies," which is explained to his daughter as "girls who like to kiss musicians."


"Damn," "hell," "ass," and "crap." Implied swearing with "son of a ..." and "holy ...".


References to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, American Idol, and Taylor Swift. The show The Song is a reference to shows such as American Idol and The Voice.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Prescription medication. One character drinks a beer; another is shown holding a six-pack. Reference to playing gigs in a bar with drunks.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The One I Wrote for You is a music-filled family drama about a family man taking the chance to fulfill his dreams by competing in a songwriting competition reality show. There's some language ("damn," "hell," "ass," and "crap") and a character drinks a beer and holds a six-pack. There are also a few kisses between a married couple and a conversation where an adult explains to a child that groupies are "girls who like to kiss musicians." There are also a lot of references to popular shows and social media (Twitter, Facebook, American Idol). Parents will appreciate the main message that you don't need to compromise your integrity or change who you are to be successful and follow your dreams.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySteve M. March 27, 2017

Great family film

The theme was super. Acting quite good. Music was superb, especially the variety of genre from one writer !! Unfortunately, many songs were cut short in the... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Ben (Cheyenne Jackson) didn't plan on being a barista, but after failing to make it as a songwriter, he's stuck managing a local coffee shop to support his family. Unbeknownst to him, Ben's 10-year-old daughter, Gracie (Avi Lake), enters him on the reality show The Song. After his former manager Mickey's (Kevin Pollak) urging, Ben enters the competition and, to his surprise, wins the first round. But as the competition gets fiercer, Ben has to decide if he'll do whatever it takes to make it or if he'll stay true to himself and risk losing his dream once again.

Is it any good?

It's schmaltzy, a bit heavy-handed, and very formulaic, but there's just enough heart and decent-enough acting to make this an OK family film. THE ONE I WROTE FOR YOU isn't going to win any awards (for the movie or its music), but it manages to be fairly entertaining even while you're cringing. Some of the faux-pop music is pretty terrible and not very believable, but a few of the tunes aren't half-bad. And parents will love that the reality of reality shows is shown to be more tedious than glamorous.

Music lovers looking for a wholesome family film will probably enjoy the likable characters and positive messages. And young fans of shows like The Voice and American Idol will get a kick out of imagining what it would really be like to compete in a reality show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality shows such as American Idol and The Voice. Why are they so popular? What's so appealing about them?

  • Do you think you need to change who you are to be popular? Is being popular important enough to have to change who you are? Why, or why not?

  • Did you like the music in the movie? Do you think the songs on the reality show sound like real pop songs? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

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