MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

This light-hearted romantic comedy parallels the true story of Mary Matalin and James Carvelle, speechwriters for Bush and Clinton, respectively, who met during the 1992 presidential campaign and later married. In SPEECHLESS, Julia (Geena Davis) travels to New Mexico as a speechwriter for the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. A hopeless case of insomnia leads her to the hotel's mini drugstore, where she encounters another journalist, Kevin (Michael Keaton), with the same problem. He just happens to be the Republican candidate's new speechwriter, but neither reveals their real job title. Their friendship quickly develops into a romance until they meet unexpectedly at a junior high school career day. Kevin and Julia are introduced as speechwriters for opposing candidates, and instead of answering students' questions, the shocked pair make angry digs at one another. As the political campaign heats up, their romance cools off. Each gets an opportunity to sabotage the other's speeches, and though the results are hilarious, it looks like they have also sabotaged any chance of making up. The exaggerated antics of the political candidates engaging in "one-upmanship" adds to the fun. Older teenagers and adults will appreciate the humor, and fans of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn may be reminded of their early romantic films.

Kevin has been around the political arena long enough to be cynical. Julia, on the other hand, is very idealistic and takes her job seriously. She is appalled by the candidates' shallowness and willingness to be manipulated by the media. They read whatever appears on the teleprompter, even when it's the wrong speech. The press corps spend their spare time in front of the TV, drinking beer. Their colorful remarks include frequent obscenities and some exclamatory profanities. But the most offensive tirade of dialogue takes place when Kevin and Julia confront each other in front of the junior high students. In that scene, Julia loses control and spouts off the only f-word in the script. Premarital sex between Julia and Kevin is implied when they spend a night together. Kevin passes out from drinking too much champagne in that scene. During their first meeting the two become entangled in suggestive embraces in a car that would have led to sex had an outsider not interrupted them. The film leaves the impression that "love" conquers all; especially any taboos about premarital sex.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
MGM,/UA, 1111 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 8, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Several (9) times (s-word 6, f-word 1, other 2)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Exclamatory

Violence: None

Sex: Implied once (unmarried couple in bed, no nudity)

Nudity: Near nudity few times (low-cut blouses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (passionate kissing scene; unconscious man's head under girl's blouse)

Drugs: Alcohol drinking several times

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.