What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this popular comedy is also very deservedly R-rated. It has sex (both in comical fantasy scenes and reality), nudity, profanity, glorified substance abuse, and an especially jaundiced outlook: a teen embarks on the road to manhood by becoming a part-time pimp, and the message is that in modern America that's a wise move, financially and socially. Because the young hero is played by good-guy star Tom Cruise, and because his character escapes punishment in the end, young viewers might interpret this as an endorsement, not a subversive satire.
- Families can talk about the character of Joel and the message beneath the movie's mordantly amusing comedy. What has Joel gained by the end? Has it made him a better person? Do you think Lana intending to trick him all along? What would you do in Joel's predicament? How does this sexy comedy compare to sex comedies today, like Superbad?