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The Seven Year Itch Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Marilyn Monroe comedy is cute but won't interest most kids.

What Parents Need to Know

There's little objectionable content in this romantic comedy directed by Billy Wilder. But the story of a middle-aged man tempted to cheat on his wife, and much of the humor that flows from this premise, will be lost on young kids and is unlikely to be interesting to tweens or teens, either. The only areas of concern are the adults shown smoking and drinking frequently; both behaviors are glamorized and seem appealing. Several short, sweet kisses are shown, and a few longer ones are played for laughs.

  • Families can talk about Marilyn Monroe's sex appeal in this movie. How does the movie show us she's attractive? Is it just her looks, or is anything else about her appealing or attractive?
  • This movie is adapted from a Broadway play. Do you think it was a good choice to turn it into a move? Why, or why not?
  • Marilyn Monroe is a Hollywood legend. What do you know about her life and death? What kind of lasting impact has she had on movies and on pop culture?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The truly attractive man is one who's tender and sweet, not the classic hunk. Although marriage has its ups and downs, the rewards of a long-term relationship are worth a lot more than fleeting pleasures, no matter how attractive those pleasures might be in the moment.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Protagonist Richard Sherman is an Everyman who tries to do the right thing. Although he almost gives in to temptation, he ultimately recognizes that he's better off spending time with his family than risking it all for what could be a passing fancy. Marilyn Monroe as the upstairs neighbor personifies temptation, but she does so in a sweet, charming, innocent way.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: There are one or two comedic slaps in the face and one punch in the nose. In a comedic fantasy sequence, a woman is making persistent advances on Richard Sherman, and he slaps her face several times. In an overwrought, soap-opera way she then asks for a beating and says she'll come back for more. In another comedic fantasy Sherman's wife brandishes a gun and shoots him several times, but there's no blood and Sherman does a playacting, exaggerated collapse as though he's dead.

  • sex false2

    Sex: The theme is marital fidelity and the temptation to break it, so Marilyn Monroe's sex appeal is a big part of the story. But it's also a light comedy, and Monroe is presented in a typically sweet and charming light. There are quite a few kisses, mainly in fantasy sequences. Most are short and on the lips or cheeks. The few longer, more passionate kisses are played for laughs. A minor character asks for donations for her nudist colony and explains how the world would be a better place without clothes. Monroe is seen several times from the waist up in a slip, and a secretary is seen in a slip and skirt in a fantasy sequence. Sherman does a funny dance to take his pants off, and we see him bare-chested in the shower.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: The very few 1950s pop-culture and consumer products mentioned probably won't mean much to modern kids. Howdy Doody is mentioned once, and Captain Video and Dictaphone are mentioned a couple of times each.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Although he's been cautioned not to by his doctor, protagonist Richard Sherman wants to drink alcoholic beverages while his wife is out of town. He wonders why a raspberry soda's artificial ingredients are better for you than a simple scotch on the rocks. Sherman and The Girl drink champagne and make and drink Tom Collins drinks and martinis. They discuss how to make a martini, which The Girl doesn't really like but continues to sip at anyway. Smoking is handled similarly; it's something Sherman knows he's not supposed to do, but both he and The Girl smoke frequently while they socialize, appearing to enjoy it.