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The Man in the Moon Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Reese Witherspoon shines in coming-of-age tale.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this movie will appeal to teens, particularly because of the popularity of its star Reese Witherspoon, it deals realistically and seriously with issues such as: trust, family bonds, adolescent sexuality, and loyalty, as well as the fragility and unpredictability of life. References and scenes that depict kissing, lovemaking, and partial nudity are designed to treat the characters, as well as the audience, with respect and dignity; nothing feels gratuitous for teens and up. There is a particularly shocking farm accident that has dire results.

  • Families can talk about how times have changed since the 1950s when this movie is set. What was important to teens then that is still important today? How does each main character show both positive and negative behavior, and how do these characters struggle between having what they want and doing the right thing? Did your feelings about Maureen change during this movie?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Adolescent behavior portrayed realistically and sensitively. Consequences of misbehavior are clear and consistent. 1950s parenting is shown to be strict, loving, and, in one instance, bordering on extreme, but true to the time and place. Human struggle between heart and mind, at any age, is examined truthfully. Role models exhibiting good values and admirable behavior are subtly drawn, but their impact is clear and heartfelt.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Horrific accident on farm involving a thresher is seen from various angles, none overly close-up, graphic, or exploitative. Teen girl is hit with belt by father.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Teen girl in bra and panties in several scenes. Young female teen shown jumping into a pond naked; it's a rear view, from a discreet distance. Naked boy swimming in pond. Older teens shown in gentle embrace, then necking passionately. Same couple is seen in soft-hued distance naked after sex.

  • language false2

    Language: Mild swearing on a very few occasions: "you ass," "goddamn," "get your cherry," "boobs."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Chevrolet.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue