Wilderness Love

 
(i)

 

Funny romcom about divorce has mature themes.
  • Review Date: January 7, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Wilderness Love offers strongly positive messages about community, the work of relationships, the possibility of keeping families intact in spite of divorce, and the responsibility people have to each other.

Positive role models

Characters are conscientious, kind, relatable, and realistic. Parents are present and engaged, but have realistic issues with careers and relationships, while kids are depicted as realistically innocent and knowing.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

There are a few brief kissing scenes between a man and woman, and later, a teen boy and girl. In another scene, children walk in on a couple in bed the morning after, covered under the sheets. A woman on a dating video appears to disrobe, but the camera cuts away. Elsewhere, brief innuendo appears in conversation. Two women briefly discuss relationships, referring to the benefits of putting up with someone for companionship and "regular sex." A teenager refers to her dad as a good-looking guy who's "probably got needs." A man jokes that men "read Playboy for the articles." A mother and daughter have a brief, but frank conversation about sex and waiting for when it's right.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine is consumed by adults in few settings with meals or for celebrations.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wilderness Love contains some brief but frank discussions between teens and parents about sex, some innuendo, and overall encourages reconciliation after divorce in a way that is unlikely to happen for most divorced couples. That aside, it's a well-done portrait of how families can stay involved and intact in spite of a split when parents put problems aside for the sake of the children.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Jesse (Jeffrey Nordling) and Susannah (Valerie Bertinelli) are divorced, and Mom seems to have moved on. So their trio of children set out to find love for Dad by placing an ad in a magazine. When the overwhelming responses include letters from Mom under another name, the children realize the potential to reunite them, and set out to make it happen.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Part The Parent Trap and part Sleepless in Seattle, this family comedy hinges on the promise of second chances set across the backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness. What could be an average setup works here because of smart performances, some clever scenes, and good chemistry between Bertinelli and Nordling. There's also good ground covered here for teens and parents to chew on -- amicable divorce, teens exploring their own matters of the heart, and the tensions surrounding individual goals, careers, and wishes, versus the communities we form around families and the responsibilities we have to them.

Parents can appreciate this frank, funny look at how families navigate divorce and reconciliation. And teens may learn a thing or two from this portrait of a family whose divorced life often looks better than most intact families'. The only ding here is that it's tough to advocate for a movie whose outcome is so unlikely in real life, which means younger kids in divorced families could walk away with some wishful thinking and subsequent disappointment. Better for older kids who can see this as a fairy tale sprinkled with humor and a little truth.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about divorce. Do you know families who are divorced? Do they get along as well as the family in the film? How is it the same or different?

  • Do you think the children are right to encourage their parents to get back together? Is it ever a good idea for kids to hope (or orchestrate) parents' reconciling? 

  • Families can take all forms and still operate even after a split. What are some good examples you've seen of how families still work even when parents' relationships don't work out?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 1, 2013
Cast:Britt Irvin, Jeffrey Nordling, Valerie Bertinelli
Director:Jeffrey Reiner
Studio:Anderson Digital
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Science and nature
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Wilderness Love was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMc876423 May 27, 2015
 

Wilderness Love

Predictable, but watchable!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

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