What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this coming-of-age drama starring Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson is not your typical teen romance. While it includes young love -- the two main characters are 21 -- the movie focuses much more on sensitive issues such as dealing with grief, coping with losing loved ones to violence and suicide, managing complicated parent-child issues, and, yes, falling hopelessly in love. Realistic violence (as opposed to the supernatural kind depicted in Twilight) is disturbingly persistent throughout the story, beginning with a cold-blooded robbery and murder and finishing with an act of violence that affects everyone in the movie. The language is stronger than usual for a PG-13 movie, with more than one "f--k," and many, many uses of "s--t" and "asshole," "bitch," "Goddamn," and the like. Pattinson and co-star Emilie de Ravin share several love scenes, but the camera focuses mostly on their faces and bare backs (no R-rated nudity). There's a lot of drinking and cigarette smoking. On a positive note, the movie explores the importance of repairing damaged relationships and allowing yourself to heal from loss.
- Families can talk about the theme of violence in the movie. How does violence affect each of the characters?
- Is it difficult to see Pattinson as someone other than Edward? Who has been most successful in staying believable in roles outside the Twilight universe -- Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, or Tyler Lautner?
- How did you feel about the twist ending? Was it shocking, or did you think it's still too soon to incorporate into a movie?
- Both Tyler and Ally have problems with their fathers. Who has the stronger relationship? Is what he does forgivable? How do the two fathers react to grief differently?