What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though this indie dramedy has a fairly good heart, it's full of iffy adult behavior like sex, theft, and drugs. The film begins with the main character stealing a car and proceeds to include plenty of talk about sex (including an interlude on the set of a porn film), strong language ("f--k" and many derivations thereof), drinking, smoking, and more. Teens who are into alternative music may be interested in the film since it marks the first collaboration of hipster musician M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel, who've since released an album together, but if they watch, be prepared to talk about the characters' conduct.
- Families can talk about the ongoing appeal of road-trip stories. What do they tend to have in common? Is this one different? What other movies can you think of that deal with similar themes? Families can also discuss the characters' choices. Is Mercer's quest admirable, even though he has to steal a car to do it? Why doesn't Kate call the cops on him? Finally, how does the movie contrast the real American West with the stories, songs, and images we're familiar with?