A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the younger audience will like the slapstick juvenile humor, this isn't for them. A character is shown masturbating while watching an attractive woman skinny-dip. Bo Derek emerges from a swimming pool in slow motion in a tiny bikini. Beer drinking, marijuana use, and drug paraphernalia are on display without consequences.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
This simple minded, laugh-out-loud comedy begins with the sudden passing of "Big Tom" Callahan (Brian Dennehy). Callahan's family-owned brake pad business is in danger of facing its demise and eradicating the livelihood of a small town. Richard (David Spade), an obnoxious corporate underling is assigned to babysit Callahan's dimwitted maniacal son, Tommy (Chris Farley) who is set to inherit the company. In a last ditch effort to save both the company and their jobs, Richard teams up with Farley, on a raging road trip to sell a vast number of brake pads. The two find themselves in one ridiculous predicament after another, including the resurrection of a (presumed to be) dead deer.
Is it any good?
Many have said the day Chris Farley died was the day David Spade stopped being funny, and after viewing this film, it becomes clear this is true. The movie employs the standard SNL formula of taking simplistic humor and cramming it in to an otherwise bland plot.
As any Farley (or Spade) fan knows, in this type of film, plot usually takes a back seat in favor of physical antics and notable one-liners ("fat guy in a little co-at..."). Kids will love the in-your-face comedy style of Chris Farley, but parents might find his humor to be lewd, offensive, and inappropriate for their child.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the positive social messages included in the film such as loyalty to friendships and family bonds. Parents might discuss what characteristics of Chris Farley's character are considered vices and which can be commended. Parents could highlight his allegiance to both his family and friends despite the his risky lifestyle. Another topic is the role of large vs. small businesses. Much of this movie focuses on business ethics and continuously relays a positive message about standing up for "the little people."
- In theaters: March 31, 1995
- On DVD or streaming: November 9, 1999
- Cast: Chris Farley, Dan Aykroyd, David Spade
- Director: Peter Segal
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sex-related humor, some drug content and nudity
- Last updated: April 5, 2020
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