A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Life-Size 2 is a sequel to the popular 2000 film Life-Size. Once again Tyra Banks plays Eve, a doll who comes to life when a young woman and a girl cast a spell that asks for her help. The premise is similar to that of the original, but the content is far more mature this time around. Sexual innuendo is prevalent, including talk about hooking up, two women sleeping together, sexting, and the suggestion that women sitting on Santa's lap may have sexual implications. Also expect intermittent language ("damn," "hell," "b.s.," etc.) and heavy drinking and drunken behavior at a party. While there is some value to Grace's evolution from brooding and sullen to self-confident, and to Eve's hand in helping that happen, this movie struggles to match its mature content with an audience that will accept its farfetched premise of a magical life-size doll.
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What's the story?
In LIFE-SIZE 2, toy company heir Grace (Francia Raisa) struggles to resolve her feelings about being left with a Marathon Toys franchise once owned by her mother, Eleanor (Nina Leon), after Eleanor is sent to prison for investment fraud. When Grace dismissively agrees with the company's board to discontinue the iconic Eve doll, her young neighbor Lex (Alison Fernandez) begs her to reconsider and, in a stroke of destiny, discovers a spell book that helps bring Grace's Eve doll (Tyra Banks) to life. With things taking a turn for the worse at Marathon Toys, Eve and Lex set about persuading Grace to redesign the Eve doll to appeal to a new generation and breathe new life into the fledgling company.
Is it any good?
Where Life-Size went mostly right, this sequel misses the mark at just about every attempt. A story about a doll that magically comes to life to help her best human friend overcome some real-world troubles seems geared toward a younger audience (like the original film), but there's far too much sexual innuendo and other grown-up stuff in the mix to make it a safe choice for general family viewing. At the same time, the story is too preposterous -- and the adult characters' willingness to accept the magic at play too ridiculous -- to keep teens' and adults' attention for long.
In the category of redeeming qualities, Life-Size 2 turns up one: Tyra Banks. She's a total delight as the naïve Eve, oblivious to real-world social mores but utterly devoted to and a champion for the struggling Grace. She eats butter by the pat, wears her formal evening attire to brunch, and is surprised to learn that not everyone has extendable hair like she does. She's also refreshingly honest and uninhibited, which wins her friends. Banks does what she can with the content she's given, but even that isn't enough to bolster this mostly disappointing sequel.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Grace overcomes the emotions that hold her back at the beginning of Life-Size 2. For what reason, if any, does she blame her mom for her predicament? How does she let that resentment control her actions? How does having a friend like Eve help you persevere in difficult times?
What is this movie's target audience? Does it serve them well? How might the content have been changed to make it more appropriate for a younger audience? Do you think the story is family-friendly overall?
Is subliminal advertising in TV and movies something that people should be concerned about? Do you find that seeing products in this light makes them more appealing to you? Is that necessarily a bad thing?
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