House Arrest

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1

The devastating effects of divorce creates a backlash of non-stop nonsense in this family comedy. Janet Beindorf (Jamie Lee Curtis) has become tired of architect husband Ned's (Kevin Pollak) procrastinating the remodeling of their basement, among other things. Their two children, Grover (Kyle Howard) and Stacy (Amy Sakasitz), refuse to accept their parents' plans to separate and desperately try to turn their 17th anniversary into a romantic party in the basement. That setting alone is enough to set off sparks, but not rekindle love. So Grover and Stacy lock their parents in, telling the once devoted couple that they cannot come out until they have worked out their problems. Meanwhile, some of the children's schoolmates get wind of Grover and Stacy's unique counseling technique and trick their parents into joining the Beindorfs. Now there are two more couples, plus a single mom, bickering downstairs, while their children celebrate their freedom with loud music and trashing the Beindorf home upstairs. HOUSE ARREST is funny, action-filled and thought-provoking family entertainment. Children under 12 will particularly enjoy it.

The kids do not lock up their parents to be mean or disrespectful. They all want more than anything for the grownups to grow up and see how important both Mom and Dad are to them. Adolescent Grover realizes his counseling efforts created even more trouble and is horrified by his classmates' behavior as they take over his home. Initially intimidated by a teenage bully, he assumes leadership, and the unruly bunch cleans up the house and even develops a system via a television screen to communicate with the imprisoned parents. There is no sex, nudity or even sexually suggestive action, except for married couples kissing. Violence consists of one brief fist fight, some pushing and shoving, a fall downstairs and Janet trapped in a laundry chute with rats crawling over her. Policemen get caught up in a booby trap, but none of these incidents result in injuries. Foul language is rather subdued, but does include some slang words for excrement and one slang regular profanity. HOUSE ARREST speaks to parents and children alike about the importance of families sticking together without being preachy.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
MGM/UA, 450 N. Roxbury Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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: Once - Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (2) times (slang words for excrement, no f- or s-words)

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 1 (Jeez), Exclamatory 4

Violence: Few times - Mild and Moderate (rats crawl over woman; fall down stairs, pushing and shoving, brief fight, police caught in booby trap; house trashed by kids)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (married couple kiss passionately; subtle reference to sex)

Drugs: Few times - Smoking; kids try champagne but spit it out

Other: Woman learns to stop smoking; importance of families stressed

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Age 8 and above

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