What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this holiday drama starring Robert De Niro deals with some heavy themes that aren't age-appropriate for young children. Of the main character's four grown-up children, one (mostly unseen) is a jailed substance abuser, and the others are grappling with issues including sexuality, divorce, and single parenthood. There's quite a bit of swearing for a PG-13 movie, especially during a comical scene between a grandfather and grandson ("f--k," "s--t"). There's also a lot of lying, and one character dies (off screen), while another ends up in the hospital after being mugged. Still, in the end, the movie aims to send a positive message about acceptance and honesty between parents and their adult children.
- Families can talk about the movie's lesson about parent-child relationships. Which of Frank's children seems to have the healthiest relationship with him? What about his grandson, Jack? How do secrets and lies affect Frank and his kids?
- How does this film compare to other holiday family movies? Why do holiday movies often seem to feature families in distress or with relationship problems?
- How does the movie portray sibling relationships? Is it believable that Frank's children would keep such important aspects of their lives a secret from him but not each other?