Road To Wellville, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

Director Alan Parker takes us on a whimsical journey to meet the eccentric Dr. Kellogg (Anthony Hopkins), the late 19th century inventor of the corn flakes and the electric blanket, and a strong believer in enemas. The film follows three people on their way to Battle Creek, Michigan, who will become a part of Dr. Kellogg's life. William and Eleanor Lightbody (Matthew Broderick and Bridget Fonda) are going to Wellville, Dr. Kellogg's famous Sanitarium, hoping to cure Will's weak stomach. The ambitious young Charles (John Cusack) is hoodwinked into starting yet another breakfast cereal company in Battle Creek, using his aunt's money and Dr. Kellogg's name. Will and Eleanor find that there is more offered at the Sanitarium than just vegetarian food. Will soon has romantic encounters with several women there and a doctor gives Eleanor very "sensual" massages. All this is against the orders of Dr. Kellogg, who believes that any sexual gratification is harmful to your health. This film takes a very funny and ironic look at the wacky scientific theories and progressive ideas that Wellville was based upon, some of which continue today in our acutely health-conscious society.

Exaggerated farce is the key term for this film as it pokes fun at the bowel-conscious Dr. Kellogg. Accordingly, much of the humor is of the bathroom variety. On another level, Dr. Kellogg's extreme belief in sexual abstinence, even in marriage, is ridiculed and circumvented by several sexual encounters, which form the basis of the objectionable material. Eleanor is taken in by a quack physician who gives her stimulating massages, and she starts to believe in free love. Will sees several women naked whom he later sleeps with. Nudity includes frequent male and female rear nudity in the baths as well as breast nudity several times. Will tries on an electric belt that is supposed to excite him. Will and Eleanor's marriage is actually strengthened by their sexual experimentation, giving the movie a decidedly un-Christian slant. Though THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE is paved with the good intention of entertainment, discriminating viewers should avoid this broad path strewn with nudity, a great deal of crude sexual humor, and foul language.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

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: Several (8) times - Mild 2, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (29) times (f-word 1, s-word 15, others 13)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 1 (G-d), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Few times - Moderate (two men accidentally electrocuted, man hit with stick several times)

Sex: Twice (short scenes with breast nudity once)

Nudity: Many times (rear male and female nudity many times, breast nudity several times)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to intercourse, self-gratification, genitals)

Drugs: Drinking once, not condoned

Other: Sexual freedom with various partners portrayed positively

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Young adults on up

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