Thing About My Folks, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Ben Kleinman (Paul Reiser) is surprised when his dad, Sam (Peter Falk), suddenly appears at his New York City home. But he is even more shocked to hear that his mother, Muriel (Olympia Dukakis), has left his father after 47 years of marriage. While Ben’s wife and sisters try to track down his mom, Ben takes his dad on what he thinks will be a one-day trip to upstate New York. But Sam decides that he needs more than a day to recover. He spontaneously buys a classic Ford and convinces Ben to join him on a father-son road trip. Over the course of several days, the two men bond by talking and sharing new experiences with one another. And while they drive, Ben and his father discuss their families, their lives and why Mom may have left.

The Thing About My Folks provides a humorous and realistic look at marriage and family. Like many families, the Kleinmans have often failed to communicate. But Sam’s failing marriage quickly becomes the catalyst for real communication between Ben and his father. The men voice the grudges, frustrations and love that they have kept inside for years. More importantly, they admit their imperfections and attempt to change and grow. Sam, for instance, goes from believing that he gave his whole life to his family to understanding that he had unintentionally neglected his wife and children for many years. Unfortunately the film has a few glaring faults. While somewhat understandable, Sam and Ben use a lot of foul language in their emotional interactions. They also spend time in a bar where they gamble, smoke, get drunk, and get involved in some sexually suggestive situations. So while it is a touching story, Preview cannot ultimately recommend it.

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 (21) times – mild (hell 7, damn 3); moderate (t-ts 1, other 2); strong (-ss 7, SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Many (39) times – mild (pee 3); moderate (cr-p 1, other 1); strong (f-word 2, s-word 30, pr-ck 2)

Profanity: Many (22) times – moderate (OMG 10, G 2); strong (GD 4, J 6)

Violence: Few times – moderate (car accident due to men arguing and becoming distracted, man defends himself from another man with a pool cue, man hits another man in foot and groin with pool cue)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times – mild (woman in ripped jeans that partially expose her rear and a low-cut shirt)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times – mild (man talks about the first time he slept with his wife); moderate (men talk about a woman’s provocative attire, married men look at and talk about a woman’s body while agreeing that they can look without harm to the marriages); strong (man uses frank language to describe men who have cheated on their wives)

Drugs: Several times – mild (drinking of beer, wine and hard liquor in a few scenes; cigarette smoking); moderate (man vomits after drinking too much, man drinks too much and describes the sensation that the sky is spinning overhead)

Other: Woman leaves her husband after 47 years of marriage, man and son shown discussing life and their successes and failures, men talk about trying to change for the better in life and marriage, men play pool for money, use of Yiddish slang, crude bathroom humor

Running Time: 94 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults and Teens

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