What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bernie is an eccentric, entertaining, and sometimes disturbing dark comedy based on the real-life murder of wealthy Texas widow Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine). Jack Black stars, but this isn't one of his mainstream comedies; Bernie's story is told with a mix of seriousness and levity, a tone that may be hard for tweens and under to process, given that it all actually happened. There's a bit of swearing (including very infrequent uses of words like "s--t" and "f--k") and scenes of cruelty (emotional, with one character needling and bullying another).
- Families can talk about the movie's message. What's the takeaway? Is there meant to be one?
- Can you believe that this story is actually based on real-life events? How accurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers stretch or change the facts?
- What makes Bernie a sympathetic character -- both to the people in his town and to audiences?