A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this charming romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds has a much talked-about scene in which the leads, both naked, accidentally crash into and fall down on top of each other. But since it's rated PG-13, all that's shown is a tumble of skin. There's also plenty of innuendo, as well as couple of passionate kisses and a comical scene featuring a flabby exotic dancer in a G-string. Language is the basic PG-13 variety ("ass," "bitch," and "s--t" are the main offenders), and there's some social drinking and product placement.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a shrewish Manhattan book editor who's as feared as The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly. When Margaret's bosses inform her she's about to be deported back to her native Canada, she blackmails her faithful, exploited assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) into pretending they're engaged. To convince their incredulous immigration officer, the two agree to visit Andrew's family in Alaska, where they have to put on a believable show for his entire clan. As the weekend progresses, they predictably start falling (literally) for each other.
Is it any good?
There's nothing original about an uptight career woman who needs some lovin' falling for her gorgeous, put-upon assistant. But Bullock and Reynolds have a breezy chemistry that most on-screen couples never achieve. They're equally believable as boss-and-subordinate as they are as reluctant lovers. Both have finely honed comedy skills, and they're bolstered by scene-stealing supporting actors, particularly Betty White as Andrew's grandmother and Oscar Nuñez (The Office) as a jack of all trades (including exotic dancer).
Obviously, there aren't many unconventional twists to this mainstream love story. But occasionally a good ol' genre flick is well executed enough to transcend its predictable plot. Director Anne Fletcher hit the jackpot with leads who know (no doubt due to their long-term off-screen friendship) how to make each other funnier. Move over Matthew and Kate -- it's time for Sandy and Ryan to be Hollywood's new golden romcom couple.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie compares to other romantic comedies. What do most Hollywood "romcoms" tend to have in common? How is this one different (if it is)?
Margaret isn't just Andrew's boss, but she's also clearly older than him. Is that a common scenario in romantic movies?
The movie's trailer prominently featured the "naked fall" scene. Did knowing about that gag make the scene any less funny? In general, do you think trailers give away too much, or just enough?