What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this entertaining thriller combines an action blockbuster (that means lots of big explosions) and a screwball comedy about a married couple who are both hiding big secrets. The wife is contemplating an affair and ends up being pressured to pretend she’s a secret agent, while the husband is the real deal, a suave superspy who has convinced his family that he’s actually a boring computer salesman. Not only does it deliver plenty of excitement, it also has some astute things to say about honesty and ennui in marriage. The wife performs a risqué striptease in her underwear, and there’s a good deal of swearing. Also expect plenty of violence, including gunfights, car chases, some graphic hand-to-hand combat, and even a nuclear explosion.
- Families can talk about honesty. The main characters lie to each other throughout most of the film. How does their relationship change once they start telling the truth? Do you think it’s plausible for a secret agent to hide his dangerous activities from his family?
- How does the film portray terrorists? Made in 1994, after the first Gulf War, but before Sept. 11, the villains are Arab extremists, though it doesn’t identify where they come from or touch on religion. Do you think the media’s views about Middle Eastern militants have changed since then?
- Is it acceptable today to demonize people from the Middle East? WorldWar II-era films often made Nazis the go-to bad-guys -- can you think ofother groups that have served that role?