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"BICENTENNIAL MAN"
(1999) (Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: Over a span of two hundred years, a robot continues on his quest to become progressively more human while still interacting with the descendants of his original owners.
PLOT:
Itís the year 2005 and the Martin family has just received the latest household appliance, a NorthAm Robotics NDR-114 (ROBIN WILLIAMS), an anthropoidal robot designed for domestic chores. While Richard Martin (SAM NEILL) is excited about the familyís latest gadget, his wife (WENDY CREWSON) and two daughters, Grace (LINDZE LETHERMAN) and Amanda (HALLIE KATE EISENBERG) arenít sure what to think of the "being" that Amanda nicknames "Andrew."

After Andrew details the three laws of robotics -- that a robot canít purposefully or accidentally injure a human, that he must obey all human orders except when they mean certain harm to a human and that the robot must protect itself as long as that doesnít come into conflict with the other laws - Richard decides not to activate the personality function, but instead allow Andrew to proceed as programmed.

Yet the family soon realizes that Andrew is more "human" than they initially imagined and they marvel at his woodworking skills and inquisitive nature. After Robert learns that NorthAm Robotics would like to dissect Andrew to find his "defect," he decides to become the robotís tutor of all things human, ranging from humor to sex.

As time passes, Amanda (EMBETH DAVIDTZ), or "Little Miss" as Andrew still calls her, has grown up and Andrew has started a profitable business building old-fashioned clocks. Despite a fondness for each other, Little Miss marries someone else and Andrew, sensing a need to become completely free, leaves the Martin household, building a home for himself by the sea.

After many more years, Andrew sets out on a journey across the world in hopes of finding another robot like him. His decade long search eventually leads him back to San Francisco where he meets Galatea (KIERSTIEN WARREN), a somewhat flighty robot whoís been reprogrammed by Rupert Burns (OLIVER PLANT) to have something resembling a personality. While Andrew is disappointed to learn that heís basically alone in this world, heís encouraged by Rupertís research that may allow him to physically become more human.

As Andrew reestablishes contact with the Martin family, this time with Little Missí granddaughter, Portia (EMBETH DAVIDTZ), he continues on his quest not only to look more human, but also eventually and officially be declared and accepted as just that by others.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If theyíre fans of Williams in his lighter/funnier roles, they just might, but this film is more serious and slow-paced then many viewers - especially kids -- are probably expecting.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For language and some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ROBIN WILLIAMS plays a robot whose "defect" causes him to wish to become more human as decades and centuries pass. Along the way he cusses some, becomes interested in sex and has it with Portia, but otherwise is a humble and caring creature.
  • SAM NEILL plays Andrewís original owner, a man who becomes a father figure to him, teaching him the ways of the world and what it means to be human.
  • EMBETH DAVIDTZ plays both Little Miss who falls for Andrew but realizes she canít love a robot, as well as her granddaughter, Portia, a restoration artist who doesnít initially like Andrew, but ends up falling for and eventually becoming his lover.
  • OLIVER PLATT plays the technician who helps transform Andrew, step by step, into a human. He briefly cusses.
  • HALLIE KATE EISENBERG plays Little Miss at a young age, a little girl who befriends Andrew.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Hereís a quick look at the content found in this PG rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 7 "s" words, while a handful of other profanities and colorful phrases are also present. Some sexually related discussions/dialogue occur as the robot is taught about sex, jokes about it, and is eventually equipped with the correct biological parts to have it (which he eventually does with a human, although itís only implied with no activity or nudity being seen). Meanwhile, we briefly see a young woman making out with a guy while standing up with her clothed crotch plastered against his.

    Beyond that, some social drinking, a smattering of bad attitudes and a few instances of brief, non-graphic violence, the rest of the film is void of any major objectionable content. That said, should you still be concerned about the filmís appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we encourage you to take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Richard and his wife have wine with dinner and later do the same again in another scene.
  • The wife pours some wine.
  • Robert has a drink after a wedding.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • People have champagne/wine at an engagement party.
  • Rupert has a beer.
  • Andrew and Portia have wine.
  • Andrew has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Andrew accidentally cuts off the tip of one of his mechanical fingers with a saw, but thereís no blood, gore or pain.
  • We hear Andrew fart (after finally getting a digestive track). He then asks Portia if she does the same and she replies that she does but not quite as loud.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • As a child and then teen/young adult, Grace (Old Miss) has both toward Andrew (telling him his cooking is bad and ordering him to jump out a window) and becomes a rebel when older.
  • Little Missí son is disrespectful to Andrew.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Piece of sh*t," "Sucks," "Youíre screwed," "Piece of scum" "Screw" (nonsexual), "Bitch work," "Chaps my ass" and "Shut up."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 7 "s" words, 3 asses, 2 damns, 1 hell, and 2 uses each of "G-damn" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Oh my God," "Jesus" and "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear Robert finishing giving Andrew the "birds and bees" lecture. Andrew then asks if people actually do that (have sex) and then wonders if itís an obligation or requirement of marriage. After Robert says that itís an enjoyable act, Andrew then asks if it feels good for both parties. Robert answers that in an ideal world it does and that married couples do it as often as they can, or at least at first. Andrew then shows concern that millions of sperm die with each act, and then finishes by stating that it appears to him that the whole act is "messy."
  • During a rapid-fire delivery of jokes, Andrew comments about the human body, stating that an engineer must have designed it for who else would have put a waste processor next to a "recreation area." He then goes on with something about (what sounded like) "May I numb your breast?" and then quickly makes the sounds "num, num, num."
  • We see Grace as a teen/young adult kissing a guy standing up outdoors with her legs somewhat spread around his crotch (while he holds her clothed hips). When her mother tells her to take that show of affection somewhere else, Grace says, "Give me your credit disk and weíll get a hotel room."
  • As a young woman, Grace shows a little cleavage at a wedding, while women show the same in an unrelated and much later reception.
  • While looking at Galateaís robotic butt sashaying to some music, Andrew comments about her amazing "agility."
  • After retrofitting him with many other human anatomical features, Rupert tells Andrew that he thinks he has what Andrew needs to make him a "complete man." Rupert then says that it wonít work in a true reproductive sense, but that it "will approximate the physical sensation that occurs during..." and Andrew finishes that thought by saying "sexual relations." Andrew then comments about being curious about that and how one can "lose themselves" during that act. After he states that he wants to experience that feeling, Rupert says, "So do I."
  • Right around the moment that Andrew kisses Portia, he comments on him sensing her pulse quickening and her body releasing many pheromones. Later, we see them in bed under the sheets (presumably after sex, but no nudity or such activity is seen).
  • As an older woman, Portia states that while she may look fifty, she doesnít feel that way (sheís much older). Andrew, however, comments that her body does and then adds, "Last night was amazing."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Robertís family sees him on his deathbed and Little Miss brings Andrew back to see him before he dies.
  • Little Miss dies (of old age) with Portia and Andrew there with her.
  • A wife sees her husband die (of old age), but then joins him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether robots will ever develop conscious thought and/or personalities and could ever be considered human.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Andrew injures himself/is damaged after Grace orders him to jump out of a second story window.
  • A small, glass horse figure shatters when accidentally dropped.
  • Andrew accidentally cuts off the tip of one of his mechanical fingers with a saw, but thereís no blood, gore or pain.
  • As a young woman Grace whacks her boyfriend.
  • We hear the sound of Andrew taking an impact drill to Galatea (off camera and played for laughs of him being annoyed with the female robot).



  • Reviewed December 9, 1999 / Posted December 17, 1999

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