A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Close family ties are encouraged, as is the freedom for kids to explore their surroundings and talents.
Positive Role Models
Ralph's parents love him and each other. They let him use his camcorder and trust him to explore the new technology. Ralph is curious and a good friend.
Violence & Scariness
In the true-crime show, a character is dead, and blood is visible. Frightening haunted house sequence includes kids breaking into an old house, running away from potential ghosts, being scared in the house.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Parody of late-night soft-core movies like those that appeared on '80s cable. Characters are about to engage in sexual acts, including threesomes and oral sex, but the channel always changes before anything graphic is visible.
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Use of "f--k," "c--k," "s--t," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The wedding video shows adults drinking. TV hosts make several jokes about cocaine and drug bags, pretending that they're other items to sell.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that VHYes is a retro comedy set in 1987 about a middle school boy who gets a video camera for Christmas and starts recording his everyday life over his parents' wedding tape. Directed by Jack Henry Robbins and shot entirely on VHS and Betamax, the movie switches between recordings of the boy's life, VCR tapes of various fictional TV shows, and snippets of the wedding video. There's lots of suggestive material, especially in the parodies of late-night soft-core porn and even in the infomercials and painting shows. For example: A female Bob Ross-style painter's work depicts what looks more like Dennis Rodman performing oral sex on the painter than a basketball move, and after-hours movies like Hot Winter are erotic stories with low production values (no graphic nudity is shown). Characters also use strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and more) and make crass comments, and drug paraphernalia is featured. Spoofs of true-crime dramas include murdered characters covered in blood, and a fight nearly breaks out during the wedding reception. Despite some high-profile cameos (director Jack Henry Robbins parents, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, both make appearances) and occasional laughs, this indie comedy isn't likely to appeal to mainstream audiences. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Occasional laughs and a quirky nostalgic sensibility make this indie comedy passably amusing, but its lack of a cohesive plot and ultrashort runtime diminish its entertainment value. Those who grew up in the '80s will appreciate the spoofing of that TV era, particularly Kenney's take on a female version of Bob Ross -- that quiet-voiced painter of happy trees -- which has a surprisingly risque twist. Lennon and Proksch are comedic veterans and do the best they can with the improvisational-seeming screenplay, but there's not enough here beyond the parody jokes.
Ralph's story emerges in the second half of VHYes, but even his admittedly touching conversation with a haunted version of his mother isn't enough to glue together the movie's disparate collection of TV snippets, wedding details, and middle school recordings. The fact that the film was actually shot in VHS and Beta makes for an authentic but less than pleasant viewing experience. Still, despite its flaws, there's just enough here that's genuinely funny to make you wonder what Robbins could do with a more feature-length movie.
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