A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that We Are Who We Are is a series about a teen who moves to an American military base in Italy when his mother is appointed commander of the unit. The show's Italian setting informs some of its content; as a teen says, they can "drink anywhere in Italy," and they do, consuming cocktails and beer at parties and gatherings. A 14-year-old also drinks alone, including in a scene where he throws up and almost falls down from drunkenness. Violence is infrequent but has emotional consequences: characters consider suicide, a teen slaps his mother in the face suddenly when she's cooking for him. Several characters are fluid in their gender identity and sexuality; expect same- and opposite-sex kissing, dating, flirting, and off-screen sex, as well as frequent non-sexual nudity: men visible fully naked from the front and behind while they shower; a woman's breast and buttocks visible as she gets into a bath. Language includes "f--king," "f--k," and "s--t." Characters are complex and human; there are no stereotypes here, but instead flawed humans who make mistakes but also give each other acceptance and emotional support. The cast is diverse in terms of age, race, sex, gender presentation and identity, and sexual identity.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
Created and directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), WE ARE WHO WE ARE takes place on an American military base in Chioggia, Italy, where Commander Sarah Wilson (Chloe Sevigny) is transferring to be the head officer, bringing with her wife Maggie (Alice Braga) and her teenage son, Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer). As tensions rise on the base between Sarah and her troops, who resent serving under both a woman and a lesbian, Fraser gets friendly with his next door neighbor, Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón), and the two help each other navigate life, love, friendship, and sex in a country not their own, and a place not of their choosing.
Is it any good?
Intimate, beautiful, and enchating, this drama takes its time getting places, but introduces us to characters so unique and compelling that we're happy to get to know them slowly. Fraser is an eyefull from the first moment we see him: bleached blonde hair corkscrewing eccentrically out from his head in all directions, yellow and black nails, animal-print fur culottes; his suitcase has gotten lost on the way to the tiny Italian town where his mom is to take command, and he's cranky. "I'm thirsty," he complains to mom Sarah, pushing away the bottle of water his stepmom Maggie offers. Sarah eventually hands him a bottle of what looks like airplane vodka.
Their relationship only gets more unusual from there, but that's not exactly what this character-driven show is about, just like it's not exactly about living as a weirdo on a military base where conformity rules, or about how gender and sexuality don't necessarily predict who you'll fall in love with, or how friends who get you can ease the sting of a world that often doesn't; it's actually about all these things, and every other part of these fiercely real characters' lives. We spend large swathes of time just watching the crowd of military-brat friends Fraser takes up with as they play around at the beach, party at each other's houses, wander around the military grocery store and through throngs of soldiers jogging in formation. And it's beautiful, getting to know these characters and understand what they're looking for. Take all the time you need, We Are Who We Are -- you're worth waiting for.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how We Are Who We Are depicts characters who are gay, gender fluid, bisexual, or otherwise non-cis heterosexual. How does it compare to other/typical depictions in Hollywood films?
How is sex portrayed here? Is it loving and respectful? What does it mean for the characters involved? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
TV shows and movies often begin with characters who are new to a particular situation: an office, a school, a group. Why? How does this approach help orient the audience to our setting and characters? Is is a cliche? Is it used in a cliche manner in We Are Who We Are?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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