Bicentennial Man

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Based on a story by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, BICENTENNIAL MAN is a somewhat strange mixture of romance and robotics. It all begins when the father of a wealthy family, played by Sam Neill, presents his wife (Wendy Crewson) and two daughters (Lindze Letherman and Hallie Kate Eisenberg) with a full-sized, servant robot. Given the name Andrew, the robot is played by popular comic actor Robin Williams. Andrew is no ordinary robot, but by some rare deviation of its electronic circuitry has creative and emotional attributes. He is so human-like, the whole family develops a deep affection for him, particularly the younger daughter. As the years pass, Andrew becomes more independent, living his own life in his own beach house. After locating an inventor (Oliver Platt), Andrew persuades him to make him look even more human on the outside. Soon, he reestablishes contact with his beloved human family and falls in love with Portia (Embeth Davidtz), one of the granddaughters in the family. But this isnt the whole story. BICENTENNIAL MAN is a gentle, humorous, loving tale which will touch viewers heartstrings. However, the story seems somewhat bland, overly long and, except for the popularity of Williams, is not likely be a major box office attraction.

The idea of a robot becoming human implies that man can create life and equates life with a series of electronic pulses. And some viewers may conclude that Andrew becomes human. This seemingly happens when he agrees to have the inventor let him grow old. Further, a comment by Portia indicates that she thinks they will be together in eternity when they die. This may not be the intent of the author and it was meant as fiction, but it could mislead some viewers about souls. In addition, when the inventor endows him with a sexual capability, Andrew begins an extramarital affair with Portia, which is portrayed as fulfilling and acceptable. And, sadly, the producers chose to have nine obscenities spoken in this PG film, including seven s-words and three regular profanities. Some obscenities are spoken by a young girl and the robot for comic effect. Love, loyalty and sacrifice for others are strong commendable traits in this film. But its foul language, acceptable premarital sex and implication that man can create life seriously tarnish BICENTENNIAL MANs acceptability, particularly for children.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Buena Vista (Touchstone/Disney), 3900 Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

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: Several (7) times - Mild, 3, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Several (9) times - S word 7, other 2, no f words

Profanity: Few (3) times Regular (GD 2, J 1)

Violence: Few times Moderate (Robot damaged in fall, some lab property destroyed)

Sex: Few times - Implied (human-like robot and woman in bed)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times Moderate (robot told about sex, robot tells joke about breasts, robot talks about sex - usually not crude, daughter talks about getting hotel w/boyfriend)

Drugs: Few times - Wine drinking

Other: Slang term sucks used, implied that inventor turns robot into human

Running Time: 122 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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