Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Friends attempt to help each other out, even without being asked. Friends you meet on vacation aren't necessarily friends you want for life, but it's good to give people a chance. You should value people for their actions and intentions rather than their station in life.
Positive Role Models
Marcus runs a construction business ethically and treats his employees with dignity, but his soon-to-be father-in-law looks down on him because of his industry. Marcus is strait-laced and he and his fiancée Emily seem to need to let loose a little. Partiers Ron and Kyla show them how, but also cross multiple lines in terms of privacy, consumption, and appropriate public behavior.
A Black couple befriends a White couple while on vacation. Race never seems to be an issue beyond the occasional joke, for example about differing hair textures. Military veterans and union members have special bonds. The story starts out in Mexico and much of the soundtrack is in Spanish.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
A boat crash leads to people being evacuated from the sea by helicopter (they're fine and discuss going out to celebrate while still in the chopper). Ron pays to get Marcus in a wrestling ring, but he avoids getting hurt. Kyla jokes that Ron abducted her as a child and is holding her against her will. Ron shoots a gun at Marcus's head as part of a game; he appears to have been superficially wounded when Ron shoots back at him. The two couples jump off a high cliff together. Marcus and Emily's brother have an ongoing feud about a time Marcus punched Emily's brother. A fist fight breaks out between a group of men.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's more sex talk than sexual activity, but we do see a man's naked bottom and women moving back and forth on top of a man (fully dressed, seen from the waist up). Characters talk about "jacking off," something that "makes my d--k hard," a "f--kfest," semen shooting versus dribbling, and being "horny." A man thinks he cheated on his wife and is unclear whether his wife cheated on him and with whom. A woman is pregnant and it's unclear who the father is.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Variations on "f--k." "S--t," "bitch," "goddamn," "damn it," "ass," "dumbass," "screw it," "hell," "cocked up," "farting," "Jesus," "God," "balls," "anus," "pubes," "d--k," "butt."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Ferrari, Green Berets, Waffle House, Hennessy, Hugo Boss, Vera Wang.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Abundant consumption, often excessive, of alcohol. The characters ingest or talk about taking cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, pills, DMT, and marijuana, sometimes without realizing they're taking a drug. A woman gives a grandma homeopathic drugs that seem to cure her of various ailments. A person jokes that he's given another person heroin without him knowing it. One night of drugs and alcohol results in blackouts and behavior uncharacteristic of at least one person. A drug trip in the forest is depicted in wild colors, sounds, and hallucinations. Characters joke more than once about drug trafficking, including the idea of smuggling drugs in the anal cavity.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Vacation Friends strings together scenes of excess with vulgar language, sexual references, drinking, and drugs. Kids may be interested because it features WWE star John Cena, but this movie isn't intended for kids. While on vacation in Mexico, four adults let loose for a week with heavy drinking and a variety of drugs that elicit wild behavior. On the last night, the main character blacks out and can't remember what happens, but he's convinced there was sex involved. We learn the details later. There's more sex talk than activity in this film, though we do see a man's naked bottom and women moving back and forth on top of a man (fully dressed, seen from the waist up). Expect a fair amount of crude sexual and anatomical references. Another unintentional drug trip is portrayed in wild colors, sounds and hallucinations. There's mention or use of cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, pills, DMT, and marijuana. Some violence is played entirely for comedy, including an apparent gunshot wound, a boat crash, and a fist fight. There are also some jokes about drug trafficking, human trafficking, child abduction, infertility, and cancer. Language includes variations on "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "goddamn," "damn it," "ass," "d--k," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite some uneven pacing and a few meant-to-be-funny clunkers, this comedy squeaks out the laughs thanks to a blend of quirky characters and surreal situations. Lil Rey Howery and John Cena make a surprisingly funny duo in Vacation Friends. Howery and Orji play straight couple to Cena's and Hagner's wacko shenanigans. The latter pair bring chaos, disaster and mind-altering antics wherever they go, including two drug trips that make for a couple of out-of-control and memorably entertaining sequences.
Howery's perennially put-upon good guy is the most relatable of the bunch, but Cena's mysteriously "weird but impressive" skillset (detecting the precise moment when a bird will poop or communicating with Mayan shamans) also add up to an endearing character. His military connection with Marcus's father-in-law is amusing ("Permission to s--t my pants, captain." "Permission granted.") The film won't be for everyone, and jokes about infertility, cancer, human trafficking, child abduction, and drug trafficking could rub some people wrong. But Vacation Friends has its moments and, maybe more surprisingly, its charm.
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.