Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Are Everything, Everything and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul?

by | May 19, 2017 | Comments

Two of this week’s big movies are directed squarely at younger audiences, but one of them, a teen weepie, is rated PG-13. Find out what you need to know about whether it’s suitable for the younger kids, as well as how much bodily function humor figures into the latest Wimpy Kid movie.


NOW IN THEATERS

 

Everything, Everything (2017) 45%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements and brief sensuality.

Nicola Yoon’s best-selling Young Adult novel of the same name gets the big-screen treatment in this sweet and slightly sappy romantic drama. Amandla Stenberg stars as Maddy, a young woman who’s just turned 18. But she’s never left her high-tech Los Angeles home because she suffers from a rare immune deficiency that makes her highly susceptible to illness. It’s just her and her doctor mother (Anika Noni Rose) – until a cute boy moves in next door and piques her interest in exploring the outside world. Maddy and Nick Robinson’s Olly enjoy a lengthy phone flirtation until they dare to meet in person – which only makes them fall faster and harder for each other. Director Stella Meghie’s film is part of the same genre as A Walk in the Woods and The Fault in Their Stars – teen weepies in which the possibility of death is imminent, which magnifies the characters’ adolescent yearnings and anxieties. Maddy and Olly make some impulsive and potentially dangerous decisions, and there’s the suggestion that they’ve had sex. All we see is a lot of kissing, though. There’s a little bit of language and a couple of health scares. But Everything, Everything has stronger writing and acting than most of these movies, and the hugely appealing Stenberg and Robinson share a crackling chemistry. Tweens will love it.


Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017) 20%

Rating: PG, for some rude humor.

This is the one where the Heffleys inadvertently adopt a baby pig from a country fair, for those of you who are Diary of a Wimpy Kid experts. (Surely, I am not the only one with a 7-year-old out there.) The fourth movie in the series, inspired by Jeff Kinney’s wildly popular books, finds middle-schooler Greg (Jason Drucker, leading an all-new cast) climbing in the minivan with his family to celebrate their Meemaw’s 90th birthday. Madcap hilarity and hackneyed road-trip hijinks ensue. The Long Haul gets a PG rating “for some rude humor,” but there’s actually quite a bit of it throughout. Scatological gags involving pee, poop and amusement park puke abound. It’s not offensive, per se, but it’s also not particularly funny. Returning director David Bowers, who co-wrote the script with Kinney himself, stops everything to construct a lengthy and loving homage to the iconic shower scene from Psycho, a reference you may have to explain to your kids afterward. Also, Greg gains Internet infamy (and subsequent shame) as the star of a gross-out meme. And he and big-brother Rodrick (Charlie Wright) lie to their parents (Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott) by reprogramming the GPS to get closer to a video game convention. Eventually, though, The Long Haul is about perseverance, forgiveness and family togetherness. It’s also not nearly as good as the first three films. But it’s fine for kids around 7 or 8 and older.


NEW ON DVD

 

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) 44%

Rating: PG-13, for extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language.

Kids around 10 or 11 and older will be fine witnessing the triumphant return of Xander Cage. It’s been 15 years since Vin Diesel last played the character in a xXx movie, and although he’s creeping toward AARP age, he’s more extreme than ever. This time, his Cage must emerge from his self-imposed exile to find a device known as Pandora’s Box, which can make satellites fall from the sky with the push of a button. It doesn’t really matter what it does – it’s the McGuffin, an excuse to show Cage and his ragtag band of badass cohorts zooming around on skateboards and motorcycles and jumping out of planes and whatnot. Director D.J. Caruso’s film is silly and over the top, but at least it’s self-aware. Expect a ton of gunfire, with untold number of bad guys getting shot dead. But because this is a PG-13 movie, we don’t see any blood, with the exception of one killing. Cage is also a ladies man besides being a globetrotting adventurer, so we see him cavorting with several scantily clad beauties, including the suggestion of an orgy in a London penthouse. And there’s quite a bit of language throughout the film. Everything about this movie, from the violence to the sex, is rather cartoonish, though.


The Space Between Us (2017) 17%

Rating: PG-13, for brief sensuality and language.

Viewers around 10 and up should be OK with this sci-fi romance, which is essentially a Muppet Babies version of Starman. A curious 16-year-old named Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) has spent his whole life on Mars. His mother, an astronaut, was secretly pregnant when she boarded the ship to help establish a colony there, so the red planet is all he’s known. But he’s somehow struck up an online friendship with a similarly isolated, frustrated teenage girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson), who lives in Colorado. He finagles a trip to Earth to meet her – and find out the identity of his father – but his body may not be able to withstand the journey. Director Peter Chelsom’s film, from the writer of the ridiculous Collateral Beauty, Allan Loeb, is similarly unintentionally hilarious. But it’s not entirely inappropriate for your kids. Gardner and Tulsa go on the run and are frequently in peril. They steal several cars to travel across the country. And there’s some kissing, as well as the suggestion of more inside a sleeping bag under the stars.

Tag Cloud

Summer Thanksgiving Martial Arts DirecTV dramedy OWN TNT sitcom singing competition First Look Toys MSNBC President 2016 Marathons Universal Winners what to watch 45 zombie VICE Opinion adventure Tomatazos biography Election Superheroes aliens Ellie Kemper Mystery Character Guide Amazon politics Comedy Fox News Comedy Central Sundance Action TCM diversity E3 Lionsgate Photos Writers Guild of America Best and Worst technology transformers GoT GIFs romance Food Network Rocky Red Carpet ITV Cosplay TruTV Mindy Kaling Lifetime based on movie travel Adult Swim Teen Podcast Pop Countdown cooking Box Office Video Games Showtime Netflix police drama Dark Horse Comics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt period drama 2015 Warner Bros. harry potter SDCC X-Men Drama Certified Fresh Polls and Games Mary Tyler Moore PaleyFest Reality Starz The Arrangement Nominations NYCC CBS All Access Masterpiece APB Calendar IFC Esquire Set visit Cartoon Network Year in Review BET Country sports BBC LGBTQ Rom-Com Music Trivia ABC Family TIFF Infographic Nat Geo Valentine's Day Horror TBS cops El Rey E! Watching Series DC Universe TLC Trailer VH1 Star Wars Reality Competition Super Bowl 2017 Premiere Dates Extras Freeform Nickelodeon DC Comics Tumblr 007 Hulu Spring TV Logo MTV PBS Marvel Schedule SundanceTV psycho WGN Syfy ESPN Sneak Peek Fantasy BBC America cats Disney Channel Sci-Fi discovery A&E TCA comiccon Bravo Emmys CNN thriller FX Pirates Ghostbusters CBS Holidays boxoffice Oscars Kids & Family AMC crime drama war TV science fiction crime Disney Paramount historical drama Grammys USA NBC social media Musicals serial killer Biopics TCA 2017 HBO ABC Comic Book Winter TV Animation CMT docudrama History 24 frames political drama Crackle RT History vampires American Society of Cinematographers The CW YA FOX TV Land cinemax FXX Rock GLAAD Musical Fall TV composers Interview Awards crime thriller talk show supernatural Star Trek