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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This isn't an educational film, but kids who watch it might learn a few words of Spanish and pick up some stuff about a predominantly Latino neighborhood that's not often depicted in New York City movies.
The movie's overarching message is that it's not money or space that kids need but rather a loving adult ready to face the challenges and hiccups of child-rearing. The movie also stresses the importance of keeping siblings together. The way Ray Ray's friends come together to help him shows how "it takes a village" to raise kids and foster community.
Positive Role Models
Despite his initial reluctance, Ray Ray rises to the occasion of raising his nieces and nephews and learns to love them and the responsibility of caring for them. Ray Ray's friends all chip in and help him, particularly his ex-girlfriend, Cheeky.
Violence & Scariness
Kids sensitive to parental death or adoption/foster care may be disturbed by how the children's parents die in a car accident (they're shown in the car looking at each other and kissing quickly, and then there's a white screen and a crash noise), and the six kids lose their home and are immediately put in the care of an uncle who doesn't want to keep them (at first). There's a scary scene in which young Nico wanders away from his birthday party and ends up lost in the neighborhood. Ray Ray and the rest of the party goers go looking for him on the streets. When the two youngest kids are removed from Ray Ray's care, everyone starts crying.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sixteen-year-old Vanessa flirts with a guy at her new high school and eventually kisses him.
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Occasional insult language (mostly between the siblings) includes "stupid," "dummy," "you're just a child," "baby," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults dance in a nightclub where people discuss going to get a drink.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tio Papi is a family comedy about a bachelor uncle who ends up becoming the guardian of his six young nieces and nephews after their parents' tragic death in a car accident (there are crash noises, but no scenes of the actual incident/immediate aftermath). Families with children sensitive to parental death, foster care, or adoption themes should know that those issues form the basis of the plot. There are a couple of mild insults like "stupid" and "dumb," a little teenage flirting, and a scary scene in which a young boy wanders off into the streets of New York alone (he's found safe), but otherwise there's nothing objectionable in the story, which is ultimately about the power of family and community. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The film injects humor into a difficult situation, while tugging at the heartstrings. There's nothing original about the story of a group of orphans who land in the unsuspecting care of an ill-suited guardian, but comedian Dedio (the titular TIO PAPI -- "uncle daddy") and Cuban-American director Fro Rojas infuse the familiar plot with a distinctly urban, Latin flavor. Dedio is a believably happy, working-class bachelor who rents a one-bedroom apartment in the barrio of Upper Manhattan and saves what little he makes in hopes of making his big move south.
When his sister and brother-in-law die, leaving all six of their kids orphaned, it's tragicomic to see Ray Ray attempt to fit the half dozen children -- including two teenagers, twin tweens, and two little ones -- into his daily routine (one of them has to sleep in a plastic hamper). McGillis and the state play the antagonists in the story, who find Ray Ray unfit as a guardian, but, like any feel-good "orphan" story, this Tio finds a way to be a Papi at all costs.
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.