Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to


By Teresa Talerico, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Touching look at tough mom-daughter relationship.

Movie PG-13 1999 103 minutes
Tumbleweeds Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+


I thought it was cute maybe a movie for older kids or eleven or twelve. Not bad.
age 10+

You really can't miss this one!

Janet McTeer & Kimberly J. Brown are wonderful as Mary Jo and her daughter Ava. Yes, there's kissing, snogging, bras & even a little swearing. But all of that comes off as nothing when both of them are together.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

McTeer instills Mary Jo Walker with an earthy, Southern-fried sexiness. She's obviously had a hardscrabble life, but it hasn't robbed her of optimism or whimsy. As Ava, Brown deftly handles her role as a typical preadolescent who loves being silly but who must also serve as the voice of reason for her charmingly irresponsible mother. Their moments together seem genuine and are the highlights of the film, whether they're rehearsing lines from Ava's school play or singing the fitting song "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" as they drive toward a new life.

Their relationship is the heart of the movie, although the supporting cast is great, including Jay O. Sanders as Dan, a sweet and sensitive co-worker who is haunted by his past; Laurel Holloman as Laurie, Mary Jo's friend and hangout buddy; and O'Connor, who brings some depth (insecurity, self-consciousness) to his portrayal of the macho, controlling Dan. Families will enjoy watching Mary Jo "grow up" as Ava finally gets a chance to be a real kid.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: January 24, 1999
  • On DVD or streaming: November 24, 2000
  • Cast: Janet McTeer , Jay O. Sanders , Kimberly J. Brown
  • Studio: New Line
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 103 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: language, sensuality and a scene of domestic discord
  • Last updated: March 31, 2022

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate