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"ZEUS & ROXANNE"
(1997) (Steve Guttenberg, Kathleen Quinlan) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor None Mild Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
*Minor None Minor Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Children's: A dog and a dolphin strike up a friendship that brings two families together.
PLOT:
Mary Beth (KATHLEEN QUINLAN) is a marine researcher and single mom with two kids, Judith and Nora. When she's not watching over them, she's tracking Roxanne, a dolphin that's been returned to the sea. Terry Burnett (STEVE GUTTENBERG) is a composer who's living in Key West for part of the summer with his son, Jordan. When Jordan's dog, Zeus, knocks over Mary Beth's flowers, he causes the two families to meet. Soon he's going along for a ride on Mary Beth's boat and meets Roxanne for the first time. Amazed at what she sees, Mary Beth thinks this inter-species "communication" might win her the grant she's been looking for. But her former boss, Claude Carver (ARNOLD VOSLOO), wants the grant money for himself and will do anything to get it. From then on Mary Beth must deal with him, as well as the kids trying to play matchmaker for her and Terry.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids will, as will those who liked "Free Willy" and "Flipper."
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEVE GUTTENBERG plays a composer who finds himself being fixed up with a single mother.
  • KATHLEEN QUINLAN plays a single mom who works to protect Roxanne and finds her children playing matchmaker for her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    While this is certainly a sweet little film, it has nearly no plot structure and almost no drama. The bad guy's a stereotype of bad and although the film looks like it will be filled mostly with animal scenes, that isn't the case. There are some here and there, but the story is really about the two adults who get together because of the animals in their lives. Thus, the fidget factor might set in for younger kids and adults will quickly tire of this sappy and stereotypical story. For example, both families live on a street with white picket fences, the dolphins never stop jumping out of the water, and a little boy not only makes meals for his father, but tells him to eat fruit salad with a spoon instead of his fingers. Doesn't that sound original? And poor Steve Guttenberg. He has to play a character that doesn't know which end of a flower to replant after it's been torn from the ground (no kidding) and can only show that something dramatic or emotional has happened by peeling off his sunglasses and giving us a blank look. The animal scenes are cute and okay (mainly focusing on the dog), but nothing that Benji didn't do in all those films from years ago. If you're looking for a lightweight film the kids might enjoy, you probably won't go wrong with this one. But if you're looking for any originality or character or plot development, you should look elsewhere. We give it just a 3 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There is a scene where Mary Beth is trapped in her little submarine and water begins pouring in. While adults will find it only a little tense (knowing full well that she'll get out), little kids might find it somewhat scary. The only other suspenseful scene (for little kids) is where a shark makes a move toward Zeus who's dog paddling in the water, but of course it turns out okay. Beyond that, there isn't much to object to. Zeus pees on the bad guys in a scene played for audience laughs. There's the stereotypical bad guy, but even he isn't very scary and doesn't really try to harm anyone or the animals. Still, we suggest you read through our scene listings to determine if this movie is appropriate for your kids.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Claude offers a case of rum to another boater to be his assistant (but it's never seen).
  • Terry drinks a beer with dinner, Mary Beth has wine and others are also seen drinking in the background.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Mary Beth's girls lie about where they're going "roller blading" and break the conditions of their being grounded.
  • Mary Beth's girls lie when they teach Jordan how to play poker so that they can win not only the hands, but his servitude of chores for the summer as well.
  • Claude tries to steal Mary Beth's research data and basically is a cad who will do anything to get her grant money. He also isn't respectful of the animals he works with (ie, he wants to separate a mother dolphin and its offspring even though the little one needs to nurse, etc...)
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Zeus falls from Mary Beth's boat and dog paddles his way after them. Meanwhile sharks circle underneath and one makes a run at the dog but Roxanne bumps it out of the way just in time.
  • Mary Beth gets trapped in netting while in her mini-submarine. When she tries to get out, water pours in and begins filling up the vessel. Soon, she's chin deep in water as Terry comes to help her. She starts to look panicked, but does finally get rescued.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Mary Beth's kids and other children "roller blade" through an oil refinery (trespassing) and then try to elude the police with the other kids, but are caught.
  • Jordan dresses Zeus in various costumes to be photographed and later has buried the dog up to its neck at the beach (along with the girls) to get a photo.
  • Phrase: "Idiot."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Two scenes have just a little suspenseful music in them.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1 damn and 2 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "God" and "Good God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • After Jordan has told his dad that a record executive is on the phone (when it's really Mary Beth), Terry gets on and says, "I had a dream about you last night. We went all the way to platinum (record sales)."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jordan briefly mentions that his mother died and later Terry is seen looking at his deceased wife's picture.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Losing a parent (not seen here, but briefly mentioned).
  • Whether different animal species can communicate in some way.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Zeus bites Claude on the leg.
  • Claude slaps his new assistant on the back of the head after he missed netting Roxanne.



  • Reviewed January 24, 1997

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