Inventing the Abbotts
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -2 1/2

This nostalgic 1950s story starts out in a humorous vein, but gradually becomes melancholy. Doug (Joaquin Phoenix) and Jacey Holt (Billy Crudup) are brothers who have grown up on the wrong side of the tracks in a small town. Jacey is angry and rebellious, determined to romance his way into the wealthy Abbott family for revenge. Jacey's hatred is based on a rumor that his mother was cheated and disgraced by Mr. Abbott. Younger brother Doug is shy and has none of Jacey's arrogant self-confidence. The summer before Jacey leaves for college, he and promiscuous, equally rebellious Eleanor Abbott (Jennifer Connelly) have a torrid love affair. Her father sends Eleanor away, with a warning to Jacey to stay away from his daughters. Meanwhile, Doug impresses Pam Abbott (Liv Tyler) with his painted-on, Elvis-style sideburns and pompadour hairdo. As Doug and Pam grow closer, he and Jacey become alienated. Inventing the Abbotts captures the spirit of life in the '50s, but a story about the parents probably would have been more interesting than this tale of young love affairs.

The film has an abundance of foul language and sexually suggestive content. Eleanor's brazen behavior includes grabbing Jacey's crotch in front of her father while she uses crude terms to talk about what they've been doing. In a brief sex scene, Eleanor is shown nude from the waist up. Doug crawls under a library table to look up Eleanor's skirt as she and others laugh out loud. After Eleanor leaves town, Jacey immediately starts a relationship with the oldest Abbott sister, Alice (Joanna Going), who's getting a divorce. In sharp contrast, Doug and Pam refrain from having sex because she doesn't want to be like her sisters. Regular profanity is heard 12 times, along with 22 obscenities. The Holt brothers' mother is a strong moral influence on Doug, but Jacey bears a grudge against her that prevents any closeness between them. Promiscuous teenagers, filthy language and many profanities make Inventing the Abbotts a film to be avoided.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: 20th Century Fox, P.O. Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 7, Moderate 8
Obscene Language: Many (22) times - f-word 13, s-word 4, other 5
Profanity: Many (12) times - All Regular (GD 6, C 4, G 1, JC 1)
Violence: Few times - Moderate (fistfights, bloody nose, shed knocked down)
Sexual Intercourse: Twice (graphic once with rear nudity, once with breast nudity); implied once in car
Nudity: Few times (rear nudity and breast nudity in sex scenes)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (girl grabs boy's crotch and talks suggestively, boy looks up girl's skirt, passionate suggestive kissing, fondling)
Drug Abuse: Smoking and beer drinking; college student gets drunk
Other: Man relieves himself on side of road; crude reference to women's bodily functions
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Young adults

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