By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Some mature content, themes in so-so holiday movie.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Pyke's emotional evolution raises themes of selflessness, kindness, and generosity of spirit. She starts the story as elusive and unconcerned about how her actions affect others around her, but she comes to realize the joy that exists in helping others even at her own expense. The story deals thoughtfully with serious matters like death and grief through several characters forced to cope with difficult emotions. Everyone can change; how we do so is up to us.
Positive Role Models
Pyke is downright unlikable for most of the story, but when she's faced with the repercussions of her actions, she makes a conscious decision to change and to help others. She finds help in doing so in surprising places and people she's long taken for granted.
Violence & Scariness
No violence, but the story frequently references death and manners of it, including illness, accidents, and suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is shown kissing and snuggling in bed after sex and talking about how great it was. He is bare-chested; she's in a bra. Several conversations deal with their friends-with-benefits relationship that's more physical than emotional. Other scenes show couples kissing, including one instance with much tongue.
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Sporadic use of "damn," "dammit," "hell," "sucks," and "screw them."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking is a crutch for Pyke, who hits the booze hard in times of particular emotional stress. She's seen downing bourbon, eggnog, and mixed drinks, but aside from a mention of her being drunk, there's no sign of its ill effects.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angry Angel is a holiday movie with feel-good messages but also grown-up behavior like casual sex, excessive drinking, and some strong language. The story begins with an earthbound angel struggling to tally up good deeds and make it to heaven and getting more resentful about her situation by the day. Happily, she does learn her lesson and has a change of heart and a better outlook by the end, but it takes a while, and she hurts those closest to her along the way. There's some partial nudity in a bedroom scene that depicts casual sex. A character also drinks copiously to handle stress. Serious issues like death and grief are central to this story's plot, making it best suited to teens and adults.
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What's the Story?
ANGRY ANGEL stars Brenda Song as Allison Pyke, a new angel stuck on Earth until she does enough good deeds to earn her way to heaven. Much to the chagrin of her celestial mentor, Jason Biggs (Biggs himself), her monumentally bad attitude interferes with her ability to help others, so as the years go by and her fellow angels come and go, Pyke's points pendulum never swings far in her favor. As if that's not challenge enough, fate brings her face to face with her widower husband, Patrick (Ricky Mabe), who's still mourning her death and struggling to move on, and Pyke can't resist the chance to connect with him again, even if it does break the rules. And then there's the sticky matter of Barker (Andy Favreau), her beneficial friend who wants more from their relationship than Pyke can give.
Is It Any Good?
The sometimes terrible emotional behavior of its main character serves an important purpose in this story of reflection and reconciliation, but it does make for a movie that's not exactly bursting with holiday cheer. It takes about five minutes to fall out of love with Pyke -- but in love with Song's mastery of the cantankerous character -- and to wonder why those around her don't throw in the towel. She's rude to friends, unremorseful about taking advantage of Barker's affection, and chronically bad-tempered about her state of affairs. Of course, all that means that her change of heart for the better is even more striking when it happens.
Angry Angel deals in some mature content like strong language, excessive and inconsequential drinking, and a bedroom scene that, in Pyke's case, glorifies the state of her no-strings-attached relationship with Barker and has some partial nudity. It also deals with realistic emotions surrounding the loss of a loved one and the challenges that come with trying to move on, which are similarly grown-up themes but have some positive insight for teens who might watch. The resulting message is clear: Show kindness, be considerate, and help others every chance you get. Unfortunately for families, this story requires a lot of naughty to finally get around to the eventual nice.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether or not Pyke is a good role model in Angry Angel. Can someone be flawed and still have merit as a role model? Does it matter more where the person starts or where he/she ends up? In what ways does she show a new sense of compassion after her change of heart?
Was the language and drinking in this movie appropriate for its intended audience? What, if anything, does this kind of content add to a story like this one?
How does this movie deal with the realities of death and grief? Did any of this content resonate with you? Have you experienced a loss like the characters'? How do you get through difficult times in life?
- Premiere date: November 27, 2017
- Cast: Brenda Song, Jason Biggs, Ricky Mabe
- Network: Freeform
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Holidays
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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