Igby Goes Down

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3 1/2

To describe Igby Slocum (Kieran Culkin) and his family as dysfunctional is woefully inadequate. The rebellious, profane, and sarcastic seventeen-year-old tries to avoid life in his East Coast old money family by flunking out of several prep schools, then escaping into the bohemian underworld of New Yorks Manhattan districts. Getting no financial help from his physically ill, self-absorbed mother, Mimi (Susan Sarandon), his mentally ill father, Jason (Bill Pullman), or his greedy older brother, Oliver (Ryan Phillippe), Igby finds the perfect hideout in his godfather, D. H. Bainess (Jeff Goldblum), secret love-nest apartment. When not on the street buying or selling drugs, Igby shares the intimate space with either his godfathers mistress, Rachel (Amanda Peet) or Sookie Sapperstein (Claire Danes), an older student met at a party. The movies portrayal of Igby and his problems echoes one of the lines from WEST SIDE STORY, also set in New York: Hes depraved on accounta hes deprived. Despite the draw of star names in this supposed comedy, Igby will probably go down at the box office as well.

However, the list of objectionable content goes up. Early in the movie, Igby makes a blasphemous comment about heaven and the crucifixion of Christ. Hollywoods favorite obscenity is frequently heard as Igby mistreats, and is mistreated, by the people around him. In a military school, broomsticks are used in a physical hazing; his psychiatrist slaps him, his mother pummels him with a rolled up newspaper. Hes even slugged by Rachel, and beaten by his godfather, Baines. Igby is also seen in fairly graphic sexual encounters with both Rachel and Sookie. Rachel suffers a drug overdose, after baring her breasts and displaying needle marks on her arm. Before Igby finally snags a free, one-way airline ticket to the West Coast, he discovers he wont inherit any money. Perhaps seen as a merciful act, Igby helps his brother euthanatize their terminally ill mother. As she lies in her bed, dying of cancer, they cover her head with a plastic bag and tie a handkerchief around her neck. Despite this reviewers concentrated search, no redeeming elements were revealed in any scrap of this film, although some will laud the acting. Because of drug use, obscene language and sexual content, this film is far from appropriate for the older teens it seems geared toward. As IGBY GOES DOWN, he takes the moviegoer with him.

Preview Reviewer: Ed Crumley
MGM/ United Artists, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

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: Few (3) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (48) times - F-word, 36, s-word 3, other 9

Profanity: Once - Regular (GD)

Violence: Many times - Moderate (beatings with broomsticks/ rolled up newspapers/ fists, deliberate suffocation of woman)

Sex: Few times - graphic and implied (woman astride man with motions, unmarried couple under sheets few times)

Nudity: Few times (male rear as man drops pants in front of family; woman bares breasts and manipulates one)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman in tight leotards moves her hips suggestively for men, man sits in suggestive way on chair)

Drugs: Many times (buying/ selling drugs, smoking, needle marks seen on arm, woman suffers drug overdose, drinking liquor)

Other: Blasphemy spoken by teenager about heaven and Christs crucifixion, euthanasia of terminally ill parent

Running Time: 97 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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