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) 46%

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) 45%

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) 16%

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

Nat Geo Columbia Pictures Sundance Now aliens Infographic based on movie Reality Competition Winners Comedy CBS All Access Comedy Central Sci-Fi American Society of Cinematographers 007 Walt Disney Pictures FXX LGBTQ President cops sitcom golden globes NBC The CW DC Universe vampires Amazon Showtime composers Opinion Rock crime drama GIFs Emmys TruTV Extras YouTube Premium Ovation zombie Tumblr Star Trek Action crime USA Network mutant binge dceu ratings serial killer 45 talk show 21st Century Fox Lucasfilm Acorn TV Reality Watching Series Grammys Election MSNBC Summer Masterpiece Photos Awards thriller police drama History GLAAD unscripted adventure psycho Lionsgate discovery festivals OWN Disney Freeform docudrama Set visit IFC USA technology TLC DC Comics Dark Horse Comics Red Carpet Western Biopics PBS Valentine's Day DC streaming service Disney Channel Netflix diversity Nominations Tomatazos Schedule political drama PaleyFest Marathons cults hist Spike finale TCA zombies Character Guide harry potter Toys IFC Films cooking 2017 National Geographic Christmas Lifetime Teen Mary Tyler Moore Fox News El Rey Certified Fresh Rom-Com Creative Arts Emmys Trailer First Look DirecTV Box Office transformers VICE ABC medical drama Animation Marvel Song of Ice and Fire Music Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt period drama VH1 20th Century Fox Sundance Spring TV Starz SXSW Bravo social media cinemax Pixar Cosplay RT History travel Martial Arts boxoffice BET sports biography WGN TCM Holidays Britbox cats Horror CNN BBC MTV Best and Worst justice league TCA 2017 historical drama Shondaland Country Superheroes war robots Premiere Dates Interview politics Esquire Paramount Network Logo FX AMC supernatural Oscars Musicals Paramount TNT Adult Swim Kids & Family Thanksgiving science fiction Star Wars TIFF spy thriller ABC Family blaxploitation GoT NYCC APB Mystery Podcast HBO 2015 TV E3 Drama singing competition dc E! YouTube Red crossover The Arrangement Calendar TV Land CW Seed Polls and Games Fall TV Ellie Kemper 2016 See It Skip It crime thriller Video Games Crackle Hulu X-Men Sony Pictures Cartoon Network Year in Review Warner Bros. BBC America dramedy Mindy Kaling 24 frames SundanceTV YA Ghostbusters ESPN streaming Syfy Nickelodeon Fantasy A&E Rocky TBS romance Superheroe CBS Musical Winter TV Apple Countdown Universal ITV SDCC Writers Guild of America comiccon Pop Comic Book Trivia Sneak Peek FOX what to watch CMT Pirates Super Bowl Food Network