A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's good to have money, but nobody needs too much of it. People can disappoint you and can also pleasantly surprise you. Doing honest and helpful work can make a person feel better than doing less honest but more lucrative work. Sometimes when you play by the rules, you can be beaten by those who don't.
Positive Role Models
Jim is a bright, straight-laced guy with a dry sense of humor who doesn't take himself too seriously. He is self-effacing and takes full responsibility for what he's done wrong. A poor, mentally unstable woman borrows five dollars from Jim. Although he doesn't expect her to repay it, she does. Jim's wife is unfailingly supportive. An ex-con grill cook dispenses important advice.
Violence & Scariness
Jim slips and falls at work. He injures himself while trying to hit a practice bag at a boxing gym. A woman enters the restaurant and yells at her soon-to-be ex-husband about their divorce. When Jim loses the opportunity to buy the restaurant he sits in his car and bangs his fists angrily on the dashboard.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple wants to have a baby but the husband isn't in the mood. The wife asks "if I do this," will he be interested in sex? A customer asks why Jim is wearing a "stupid hat" that is part of the restaurant's uniform and he says that management had told him to "keep it sexy."
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"S--t," "mofo," "hell," "bastard," "balls the size of a cantaloupe."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A pregnant character smokes cigarettes. Rowdy people who appear to be drunk eat at a 24-hour diner. A coworker asks Jim if he's smoking pot. "Maybe you should start," the coworker suggests when Jim says no.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Waffle Street, from James Adams' 2010 memoir of the same title, tells the true story of a bright young MBA who participated in some of Wall Street's unsavory practices, took the fall for his company's wrongdoing, and found redemption as a server at a waffle restaurant. There probably isn't much to appeal to kids here, but aside from rare uses of such words as "s--t," "mofo," hell," and "bastard," there also isn't much that would be inappropriate. There are some mentions of sex and marijuana, and characters smoke and drinks. The fact that Adams learned many lessons about decency, business, economics, people, and life makes him likable and perhaps of interest as a cautionary tale about the allure and pitfalls of seeking wealth above all and the transformative powers of doing good. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Waffle Street is awash in syrup of folksy amiability. James Lafferty is both serious and whimsical as a well-meaning math nerd who loves finance but is so driven to meet his firm's unreasonable target numbers that he makes unethical moves that embarrass the firm and get him fired. The man who has spent $50,000 pursuing two business degrees finds out that higher education has nothing on the knowledge that an ex-con grill cook has to teach him about business and life. Glover is gleeful as the cook who spent 27 years in prison and is now not wasting a moment with dishonesty or feeling sorry for himself. Julie Gonzalo is also appealing as Jim's supportive wife. The message that there's more meaning in living honestly and giving back than there is in accumulating great wealth at the cost of self-respect will resonate with parents struggling to raise generous and hard-working children.
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