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Cocoon Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Sex talk, language make iconic '80s sci-fi better for teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know there is fairly regular swearing in this seriocomic sci-fi tale, including one shocked f-word, but maybe even more troubling for young viewers is the strong theme of mortality and sweet old grandparent-like characters (and nice-guy aliens) dying, or going away forever. Much is made of the elderly having sex -- nothing shown, but there's plenty of sex talk and the general vibe of a Viagra commercial. Two other characters "share themselves" with human-alien intimacy, a no-touching, energy-field deal, but clearly orgasmic. An alien disguised as a pretty young earthling is naked from the rear and nude in a pool up to her collarbone. There is a subplot about marital infidelity and some fistfight-scuffling. In all the talk about end-of-life issues, nobody mentions religion atall --there's only one service shown briefly at the end -- but agrandfather's speech to his grandson about "going away" skyward,where nobody ages or dies, is sort of a metaphor.

  • Families can talk about the theme of immortality and rejuvenation and the choices the characters make regarding it. What do kids think of Bernie, who rejects the gift because it seems unnatural to him?
  • Talk about aging -- a theme still not addressed very plainly in youth-oriented Hollywood, and often couched in fantasy terms like 17 Again and Forever Young. Ask kids if they think about being old and what it might be like.
  • Discuss other tales of immortality and "fountains of youth" -- kids may know the violent Highlander series, too-many-to-name vampire dramas, even the Harry Potter novels, that ask how far one would go to live forever.

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Depiction of how elderly are neglected and underestimated in modern society, or just plain expected to do nothing and die meekly. The aliens instead offer the old humans a chance to lead "productive lives" again. Just not on Earth. Some characters argue ethics of cheating death and what price one would pay. The miraculous return of youth also rekindles negative traits among some of the elderly.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The Antareans are surely among the nicest space beings Hollywood ever conjured. Police, moms, coast guard, and other authority figures are unhelpful and/or menacing, as in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. People without much power in society, like the elderly and children, seem more trustworthy. The old folks aren't angels, though. They swear, break rules, and one of them cheats on his wife.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A fistfight. A nameless extra in cardiac arrest undergoes elecroshock. A helpless alien dies of old age.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Elderly characters have sex -- mostly within marriage, though one commits infidelity. The lovemaking is all off camera, but they sure talk about it. Two other characters have human-alien intimacy -- which is a mostly no-touching, energy-field deal, but clearly orgasmic. An alien disguised as a pretty young earthling is naked from the rear. The young male lead spies on her while she undresses. Talk of "boner" erections.

  • language false3

    Language: The s-word, "ass, "hell," "Jesus Christ," "Goddamned," "ball sack," "crap," "fart," and the other f-word once.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A joke reference to the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Some product labels and car models.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social and saloon drinking. There are suspicions voiced that the disguised alien expedition are "dope peddlers" and that the fountain-of-youth pool is some kind of cocaine stash.