It Runs in the Family

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

With a touching and sometimes funny story, It Runs in the Family grabs the filmgoers heart and doesnt let it go. The Grombergs, a wealthy Jewish family, have three generations of life to deal with. Mitchell Gromberg (Kirk Douglas) is the patriarch, who struggles with the rigors of old age and the challenges of relating with his wife (Diana Douglas, Michael Douglass real-life mother), his son and his grandsons. Alex Gromberg (Michael Douglas) is caught between the commitments of work, the temptations of the flesh and the demands of family. His wife Rebecca (Bernadette Peters) is similarly torn. Young Asher (Cameron Douglas, Michaels real-life son) and Eli (Rory Culkin) Gromberg are learning about life, love and loss as they choose their values. Through all of the extraordinary challenges of a normal life, the family grows, enduring severe strains but remaining committed and bonded.

It Runs in the Family deals with real life issues, from the temptations of sex and drugs to the problems of age and youth. The film provides valuable insights and generally sends positive messages, such as the theme of forgiveness. Mitchell Gromberg ponders his own immortality. Despite all of their mistakes and problems, the Grombergs stick it out, understanding that love bears all things. The film contains significant references to Judaism. The family celebrates the Passover seder meal during which they gather to pray, and the males are often shown wearing yarmulkes. In dealing with sex, the film sends a mixed message, favoring faithful relationships but remaining neutral on premarital sex. Though it contains many redeeming features and positive messages, Preview cannot recommend It Runs in the Family, due to significantly objectionable language, and some sexual content and drug abuse.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

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 (35) times mild 21, moderate 14.

Obscene Language: many (23) times s-word 16, other 7.

Profanity: many (16) times regular 13 (G 2, GD 5, J 3, C 1, JC 1, G sake 1); exclamatory 3 (OMG 3).

Violence: few times mild (man knocked down by runner, police restrain people, boy fights another boy defending a girl)

Sex: none.

Nudity: once mild (man and woman begin to disrobe slightly exposing mans rear for a moment). Near Nudity: few times moderate (woman walks around house wearing underwear,

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: several times moderate (man asks grandson if he is sexually active with a woman, man makes suggestive gesture with tongue, boy makes reference to his genitalia, boys look at pornography and discuss sex, boy models female breasts from clay, man and woman kiss and begin to disrobe but are interrupted).

Drugs: few times moderate (man smokes marijuana, repeated use of alcohol by several characters).

Other: repeated references to Judaism, Passover, yarmulke and God; man nearly commits adultery but is interrupted and overcome by guilt; portrayal of family communication problems and commitment; portrayal of aging and death; portrayal of the growing and selling of marijuana).

Running Time: 109 minutes.
Intended Audience: adults.

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