Splitting Heirs

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

In the 1960's the Duke of Bourmouth married an American movie star hippie named Lucinda (Barbara Hershey). After dining at a restaurant one evening, they accidentally leave the infant heir to the title, Thomas Henry Butterfly Rainbow Peace Martin. They find him several days later and everything seems fine. Enter Tommy Patel (Eric Idle) some thirty years later. He works for the investment firm of Bourmouth and Bourmouth and is asked to show Henry Martin (Rick Moranis), the heir to the title, around town. When the elder Bourmouth dies, the American-minded Henry takes over the company and the title. Henry and Tommy become good friends. Then one day Tommy discovers that he is really the heir to the title and Henry is an imposter. Not knowing what to do, Tommy tries half-heartedly to kill off Henry in order to make his claim for the throne. However, Tommy soon realizes that the friendship is more valuable than the title. John Cleese plays an eccentric attorney who cannot be dissuaded from "helping" Tommy out and tries to kill off Henry as well. SPLITTING HEIRS is a sometimes funny but quite uneven comedy of errors that veers from the clever to the inane. It offers a few chuckles but a lot of grimaces also.

The sexual situations give SPLITTING HEIRS its PG-13 rating. Intercourse is implied twice, with both male rear nudity and breast nudity in the first scene. Male rear nudity is seen one other time. Lucinda is attracted to Tommy, her real son, and although nothing comes of it, she acts very seductively towards him. Tommy makes several thwarted attempts on Henry's life by trying to stab him and drown him. The attorney kills off the maid by locking her in the freezer and also blows up the nanny. There is a prolonged scene of urination but no nudity and one scene of drug use where Lucinda seductively "pops" some pills. And, of course, the language moves right along with the rest, with 4 s-words and one f-word plus many exclamatory profanities. It would be a much better comedy without the overdose of sexual innuendos and offensive language.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

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 (12) times - Mild 9; moderate 3

Obscene Language: Many (10) times (s-word 4 times; f-word 1; 5 others)

Profanity: Exclamatory - Many (15) times

Violence: Several times - Moderate (comical homicide attempts with knife, drowning, woman blown up, woman frozen)

Sex: Implied twice (with rear male and breast nudity)

Nudity: Few times (full breast nudity twice, male rear nudity once)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times - references to intercourse, suggestive clothing, obscene gesture)

Drugs: Once (pill popping)

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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