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Parents' guide to movies

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Parents’ guide to movies

‘TIL THERE WAS YOU

WHAT IT’S ABOUT Ghostwriter Gwen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) yearns for romance but kisses a lot of frogs in her pursuit of a prince. Dylan McDermott, Jennifer Aniston, and Sarah Jessica Parker costar. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT? Probably not. Teens will have a hard time sticking with this paean to twentysomething relationship woes. MPAA RATING: PG-13 SEX/NUDITY: None on screen DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Almost everyone smokes; social drinking; an alcoholic ends up in the hospital. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Gwen’s elderly neighbor dies. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES: About 10 WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT: The optimistic view that even life’s painful chapters can lead to happy endings. WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IT: It’s hard to take the clumsy Gwen seriously. APPROPRIATE AGES: 12 and up

ADDICTED TO LOVE

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Heartbroken Maggie (Meg Ryan) and Sam (Matthew Broderick) team up to ruin the relationship between their exes, Anton (Tcheky Karyo) and Linda (Kelly Preston). WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?: Doubtful. They won’t understand the intensity of Maggie and Sam’s jealousy. MPAA RATING: R SEX/NUDITY: Maggie and Sam make love off-screen; hear Anton and Linda having sex. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Maggie and Sam guzzle liquor as they plot their revenge. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Mostly slapstick, but Maggie’s ex does end up in a body cast with broken bones. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES: About 25 WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT: Romance isn’t a solely female obsession; Broderick is as lovelorn as Ryan. WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IT: In real life, people like Maggie and Sam are called stalkers. APPROPRIATE AGES: 13 and up

THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Still recovering from his previous dinosaur encounter, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) warily heads to a Costa Rican island after he discovers the dinos are back. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?: Tyrannosaurus yes! Kids may even find themselves rooting for the prehistoric bad guys. MPAA RATING: PG-13 SEX/NUDITY: None DRUGS/ALCOHOL: A couple enjoy champagne on the beach; a hunter partakes from a flask. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Gruesome deaths as people are eaten, stomped, and torn asunder. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES: About 15 WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT: Cool special effects and the message that man shouldn’t mess with nature. WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IT: The real predators: Merchandisers preying on your kids. APPROPRIATE AGES: 10 and up (8 if they’re brave)

ROUGH MAGIC

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Disillusioned with her fiance, magician’s aide Myra (Bridget Fonda) flees to Mexico, where she is empowered by a Mayan sorceress and an American reporter, Alex (Russell Crowe). WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?: No. They’re likely to do their own disappearing act within minutes of this strange film. MPAA RATING: PG-13 SEX/NUDITY: A graphic look at bunnies caught in the act of multiplying. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Myra and Alex have beers for breakfast; some social drinking and drunkenness. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: A magician is shot; a man pours gasoline on Alex; bloody beatings; a dog is hit by a car. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES: About 30 WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT: Myra is a strong female who always has a trick or two up her sleeve. WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IT: Myra’s sleight of hand is matched by the story’s slight of plot. APPROPRIATE AGES: 12 and up

TRIAL AND ERROR

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Out-of-work actor Richard (Seinfeld‘s Michael Richards) gives the performance of his life when he fills in for hungover lawyer pal Charlie (Jeff Daniels) in an important court case. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT?: Beyond a reasonable doubt. Older kids will find the proceedings hysterical. MPAA RATING: PG-13 SEX/NUDITY: Charlie has sex with a waitress off screen. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Charlie passes the bar several times at his pretrial bachelor party. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: None OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES: About 30 WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT: Richard’s well-intentioned efforts to help his friend. WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IT: The heroes are as guilty of criminal behavior as the defendant. APPROPRIATE AGES: 12 and up

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