A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Then Came You is a romantic comedy targeted at Baby Boomers that takes place in Scotland and deals with finding happiness after losing a spouse. Written by and starring Kathie Lee Gifford, it has plenty of the kind of wink-wink racy humor that those who watched her on morning TV might be expecting. For instance, there's a gag about a British dish called "spotted dick" and a plumbing valve known as a "petcock." That said, even though innuendos fly frequently and there's talk about having sex, the actual moment, when it happens, takes place completely off camera. Expect to see characters drinking frequently and hear occasional profanity, including "s--t" and "f--k."
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What's the story?
In THEN CAME YOU, an outgoing, talkative Nantucket widow named Annabelle (Kathie Lee Gifford) makes plans to travel the world with her late husband's ashes. At her first stop in Scotland, she falls for charming but closed-off innkeeper Howard (Craig Ferguson), whose wedding to businesswoman Clare (Elizabeth Hurley) is only days away.
Is it any good?
Get these two a TV show: The former morning show personality and former late night host make such an adorable, funny team on film that they leave you wanting more. Gifford wrote the screenplay for Then Came You, and it feels like Ferguson likely did quite a bit of improv. As a result, both stars glow in their roles. There's nothing new here: The film kicks off with a voiceover of the emails the two sent to each other as strangers, and when they meet, they clash like "a cat and a dog," as they say repeatedly. And of course, you know they're totally going to fall in love. While the movie follows all the usual beats of a romantic comedy, and you can never wholly accept Gifford and Ferguson as their fictional personas, it's still entertaining.
The question is, will teens be keen on a film about a sexy grandma? Gifford is constantly revealing bits of skin: crying in a sweater that's -- whoops! -- slipped off the shoulder, singing an entire song (that she wrote) in a bubble bath, and displaying her age-defying gams at every turn. It's kind of fantastic: Women of her age are rarely portrayed in this manner in mainstream media. And this tale may just work for teens because the older characters' romance is balanced with immature humor -- jokes that are funny because they seem outrageous but aren't technically over the line. Plus, Annabelle and Howard may not be the only ones who fall in love: It will be tough not to be enchanted by the gorgeous Scottish countryside -- and, whoa, that castle! "Awd's Inn," better known as Ardkinglas House in Argyll, Scotland, is definitely old and falling apart, but dang, she'll take your breath away. Maybe the film's greater message is even if we don't technically get better with age, the years don't diminish our shine.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Then Came You compares to other romantic comedies. Who's the target audience? How can you tell?
How do Annabelle and Howard rediscover love and happiness while respecting their late spouses? Is there a "right" way to move on after loss?
Gifford wrote the screenplay and the movie's songs after her husband's death. Why do you think grief, depression, and sadness often fuel creativity?
- On DVD or streaming: October 2, 2020
- Cast: Kathie Lee Gifford, Craig Ferguson, Elizabeth Hurley
- Director: Adriana Trigiani
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Romance
- Character strengths: Empathy
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual material and some strong language
- Last updated: December 19, 2020
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