What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this comedy is rated PG-13 and co-stars Night at the Museum's Owen Wilson, some of the content may be too much for younger teens. (It's all played for laughs, but still.) There's no real nudity, but there's lots of crude sexual banter ("G spots," "blue balls," etc.), and some of the characters end up in compromising positions (the cops arrest two men set up with underage women). Dark undertones touch on everything from drinking and (prescription) drug use to genuine criminal activity (the main character sells fake IDs, and a nurse fakes her elderly patients' deaths, steals their Medicare checks, and re-sells their prescription drugs) and depression (one retiree holes up in his room for years). The elderly are mocked at length, and in one scene the main character is thought to have molested a child at a urinal.
- Families can talk about how movies make audiences sympathize with characters who aren't entirely sympathetic. How does the movie make Wendell seem "good" even though he's actually an alcohol-guzzling lawbreaker? Does his "badness" make his redemption in the end even more striking? Can you think of other similar characters in other movies or TV shows? And what about Wendell and Doreen? Do they seem like a good match? Why does Doreen put up with him early on? Is her character a positive portrayal of women?