A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid Maya's admittedly iffy behavior are messages about our best partner being the one who brings out our best and that the only one stopping you from achieving your dreams is you.
Positive Role Models
Maya makes lots of iffy choices (casual hookups, constant vaping, drinking to handle stress, etc.), but there are diverse representations and nonstereotypical characters across gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Violence & Scariness
A character is slapped several times in an effort to wake him. Two women get catty over a guy, and a divorced couple berates each other.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Maya engages in casual sexual hookups with men she meets on a dating app (she insists on a condom); these encounters are contrasted with tenderness in sexual situations within a committed relationship. She's frequently shown in her bra, low-cut dresses, and "side boob"-revealing shirts. Lusty comments about men's backsides.
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Strong language throughout, including "ass," "bitch," "damn," "goddamn," "s--t," and "f--k," as well as jokes with "t-tty twister" and "fetish porn."
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Products & Purchases
Repeated positive inclusions of Tinder and Lyft. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Moet are consumed with labels prominent. Chapstick and Google mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Maya often vapes cannabis, and there are a couple of verbal references to her getting high. Frequent drinking, including getting intentionally drunk to handle a difficult situation. A character drinks heavily to get in the mood for sex; her date comments on how "fun" she is while she's doing shot after shot.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wedding Year is a Robert Luketic-directed romantic comedy that's very likely to appeal to teens (more so than to adults, in fact). Maya (Sarah Hyland) is a self-centered young woman who hits parked cars and doesn't leave a note, feigns interest in men so they'll buy her dinner, and shows up to work high. While Maya is clearly a mess, Hyland is extremely popular, so her character could rub off on teens. Maya's behavior also includes getting drunk to avoid discomfort, pursuing one-night stands, and constantly sucking THC out of a vape pen. Maya thrives in an interracial relationship, and while the couple struggles with the differences in how they've been brought up, race itself is never an issue. They attend many weddings together, including that of a gay couple. Strong language ("f--k," "s--t") is used throughout, and there are plenty of lusty comments and situations. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) returns to the romantic comedy genre with a modern-day story made for a younger generation. Is it formulaic? Absolutely -- but surprisingly, that feels good. Streaming services have wisely figured out that the romcom isn't dead, it just needed a vacation, and younger viewers have been eating up films like The Kissing Booth, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and Always Be My Maybe. Luketic is ready to join the fray. The Wedding Year uses the standard setup (flawed girl meets awesome boy, loses boy, regains boy -- along with some personal growth) and then taps into a Nickelodeon/Disney Channel TV movie vibe. To high schoolers, it's the emotional equivalent of a bowl of warm Kraft mac and cheese.
That said, as much as teens are likely to enjoy The Wedding Year, parents could be left cringing. Maya uses Tinder for casual hookups, gets drunk for sexual foreplay, tells off a potential employer as they're making a job offer, and vapes THC as a way of life. And Gen Z-fave Hyland is so likable that her portrayal could be seen as an endorsement of this iffy behavior. The film is fun, and teens will love Hyland's messy character, but, parents: It'll be up to you to do clean up.
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.