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"AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS"
(2001) (Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A recently fired public relations professional is asked by a movie studio to arrange a press junket for a film that no one's seen and whose two married stars are on the verge of divorce.
PLOT:
Gwen Harrison (CATHERINE ZETA-JONES) and Eddie Thomas (JOHN CUSACK) are a married, Hollywood couple known as "America's sweethearts" and have appeared in numerous popular films together. Unfortunately, they're headed for divorce due to the pampered and self-centered Gwen having an affair with a Spanish actor, Hector (HANK AZARIA), some eighteen months ago, sending Eddie off to a "wellness center" where he's been trying to cope ever since.

That's not good news for studio chief Dave Kingman (STANLEY TUCCI) since the two have fallen out of public favor, putting their last and yet to be released film together, "Time Over Time" in jeopardy. Knowing he needs America to believe that the two former sweethearts are back together for the picture to be a hit, Kingman asks movie PR veteran Lee Phillips (BILLY CRYSTAL) to arrange the press junket for the film.

Lee is understandably reluctant since Kingman just fired him the week before in favor of his younger protégé, Danny Wax (SETH GREEN), and the fact that the film's Oscar winning, but seemingly deranged director, Hal Weidmann (CHRISTOPER WALKEN), won't let anyone see the film until it's unveiled before the press.

Nevertheless, and arranging to have his old job back, Lee sets out to work his magic. Setting up the press junket at a remote desert resort, Lee convinces Eddie to attend and promote the film, and calls on Gwen's personal assistant and sister Kiki (JULIA ROBERTS), to convince the starlet to do the same. As the reluctant and soon-to-be ex-husband and wife arrive on the scene, Lee does whatever he must to keep the stars and press happy, all while Kiki and Eddie soon begin to feel more than friendship toward each other.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or "inside Hollywood" films, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language, some crude and sexual humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILLY CRYSTAL plays a movie studio PR man who uses some profanity and drinks some all while doing whatever it takes to promote the film and make everyone happy.
  • JOHN CUSACK plays a movie star who's lost himself after learning that his wife has had an affair. He reluctantly agrees to help promote the film, however, as he hopes to win her back. He uses profanity (some of it briefly strong), drinks some and ends up sleeping with Kiki.
  • CATHERINE ZETA-JONES plays his self-centered and high maintenance movie star wife who's broken up with him after cheating on him with Hector.
  • JULIA ROBERTS plays her personal assistant and sister who lives her life through Gwen's until she eventually realizes that's a bad idea. She uses some profanity and ends up sleeping with Eddie.
  • HANK AZARIA plays Gwen's Spanish boyfriend who isn't happy about the friendly way she's acting toward Eddie or rumors about the size of his genitals. He also uses profanity.
  • STANLEY TUCCI plays the studio chief who desperately wants a hit and uses some profanity.
  • CHRISTOPER WALKEN plays a hippie-style director who won't let anyone see the film until it's unveiled in front of everyone at the same time.
  • SETH GREEN plays Lee's hustling and ambitious assistant.
  • 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:
    Here's a brief look at the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Profanity is listed as heavy due to the use of at least 1 "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some of the dialogue is sexually related, with much of it steaming from a running gag and comments about the size of a certain character's penis.

    Another comedic bit has another character mistakenly viewed by others as masturbating (with related comments), while a couple ends up sleeping together (we see them kissing and then see them waking up in bed under the sheets the next morning). A woman is occasionally seen in varying degrees of revealing clothing, while a woman caresses a man's clothed rear end with her foot and another joke stems from a Doberman repeatedly licking an uneasy man's clothed crotch.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, a brief fight occurs (as does a fantasy scene - all played for laughs - where a man shoots his estranged wife) as does some brief slapstick material, and various characters drink. Finally, a married couple is estranged and near divorce due to her cheating on him with another man, but no children are involved. If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present in it.

    For those concerned with flashes of light on the screen, a few moments of that occur during a thunderstorm.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A limo driver tells Eddie he'd get "drunk off my ass" if his wife left him for another man.
  • Lee has a drink.
  • Eddie has a glass of wine in a flashback and he later notes that he was drunk that evening.
  • Eddie jokes that he took half a pound of Vicodin before an interview.
  • Eddie states that he's going to spend time at his hotel mini-bar.
  • People have drinks, including Lee, in a hotel restaurant.
  • Lee has a drink and Dave then enters the bar, stating he'll have the same.
  • Eddie sits on a sofa, drinking a beer that he then downs.
  • People have champagne at a reception where Lee states that Dave should follow his lead and get completely "sh*t-faced."
  • Gwen comes out to the press and states that her behavior was due to her being on pain medication.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Eddie has some fake blood on his head and some on a bandage around it in a scene from a movie.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dave only cares about his studio's film becoming a hit and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
  • Gwen treats Kiki like her servant and has a self-centered, "pity me" attitude toward everything. She also had an affair with Hector while still married to Eddie, and then tries to act all nice to him so that she can serve him with divorce papers.
  • Lee does whatever necessary to make things work, including bribing some security guards with promo bags so that they don't report what they thought they saw; sending an incriminatory tape to the news that makes Eddie look bad; sending the press photos of Eddie and Gwen together as if they've made up; and encouraging and then photographing a fight between Eddie and Hector.
  • During an interview with the press, Eddie seriously states (but is obviously making it up) that he and Gwen have done a couple of "three ways," mentions spending some time in the sack with Hector and then adds that for a big guy "he's not packing very much south of the border." He does this just to spite Gwen.
  • Hector has a bad attitude toward Eddie, repeatedly taunting him and calling him "p*ssy boy," etc.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • While played entirely for laughs, we see Gwen's Doberman attacking the window cleaner (grabbing him by the back of his shirt and dragging him away). Those who are afraid of dogs, however, might not like that scene nor its continuation where the dog growls and acts menacingly toward Lee (but ends up repeatedly licking his clothed crotch).
  • Although played for laughs, Eddie ends up sliding down a roof toward its edge (high above the ground), when Lee accidentally knocks him there by opening a rooftop door. Lee then tries to rescue him with a fire hose, with Eddie slipping a few times (but ends up being okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Used by Eddie in a fantasy to shoot Gwen several times (no blood and all played for laughs).
  • Futuristic gun: Worn by Eddie's character in a brief scene from a sci-fi film.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "I don't give a sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "Sh*tty," "Cut through the bullsh*t," "Sh*t-faced," "Oh sh*t," "P*ssy boy," "He's going to be a p*ssy pancake," "Whacking it" (masturbating), "Crappy," "Kiss my undercarriage," "Bastard(s)," "Nuts" (crazy), "Nut hut," "Demented pig," "Moron(s)," "Pissed off," "You little schmuck," "What the hell /is wrong with you/is going on/is he doing here/happened/is this?" "Jerking off," "Just smile and shut up," "Idiot," "Hell hole," "Take it up the gazoo," "Whacko," "Kick your ass," "Ass kicker" and "Blair bitch project."
  • Upset at seeing Gwen with Hector, Eddie drives his motorcycle through a restaurant window where they're seated.
  • Hector throws water into Eddie's face as he tries to goad him into fighting him.
  • Dave's assistant gives him "the finger" (as captured on film by Hal).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of comically suspenseful music plays in several scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 18 "s" words, 10 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 2 slang terms for sex ("schtupping" and "laid"), 7 hells, 6 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 craps, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 3 uses each of "God" and "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "My God" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Gwen shows some cleavage in a nurse's outfit she wears in a film.
  • Someone sarcastically comments on a script title being "I schtupped Castro."
  • We briefly see Gwen in her bra that shows some cleavage.
  • Gwen and Hector make out with Hector's clothed rear end sticking out near Lee's face as he's seated near them. Lee then sees Gwen's high-heeled boot/shoe between Hector's legs, caressing his butt.
  • Gwen's Doberman begins to lick Lee's clothed crotch, resulting in Lee not know what to do (since the dog had just been growling and acting menacingly toward him). The joke at the end of the scene is Lee still being uncomfortable, Kiki walking in and saying "Don't let me interrupt," and then him telling the dog, "To the left." Later, Lee runs into this dog that growls at him again, causing Lee to sheepishly try to explain why he didn't call.
  • While trying to spy on Gwen at night over a wall, Eddie falls and lands on a cactus, resulting in many thorns being embedded in the clothing at his crotch. He then starts to pick them out, one by one (with accompanying painful noises) and a hotel security crew spots him doing so on one of their surveillance cameras. Based on their angle of the view, however, with his back to them and his hand repeatedly returning to his hidden crotch area, they mistakenly believe he's a peeping Tom who's masturbating. Thus, one of the guards states that he thinks they have a guy "whacking it" down by one of their cottages. Once they confront him, they state that masturbating in public is an offense, causing him to state that he was just pulling out "prickers." A comment is later made that Eddie was "doing himself a favor" when this is seen on TV (and we hear what sound like sexual sounds - that are really him in pain).
  • Later, after Gwen hears about this, she tells Lee that Eddie was outside her window doing something that wasn't good. Lee then tells her that everybody does it (meaning masturbation), causing her to reply that she knows that everybody does, but that's not the point (as she thought he was trying to kill her again). Lee then replies that considering the "weapon" in his hand (referring to Eddie's penis), he doubts that what his motive.
  • During a fantasy that Eddie has, Gwen asks him if that's a gun in his pocket or whether he's just happy to see her. He replies that it's a gun and then shoots her (all played for laughs).
  • Gwen asks Eddie if he was fooling around with anyone else while shooting their last movie (he says that he wasn't).
  • During an interview with the press, Eddie seriously states (but is obviously making it up) that he and Gwen have done a couple of "three ways," mentions spending some time in the sack with Hector and then adds that for a big guy "he's not packing very much south of the border." He does this just to spite Gwen.
  • We see Kiki sitting (clothed) on the edge of a hotel tub, giving Gwen - who's in the tub and covered with bubbles - a backrub (and we see the latter raising her bare leg from the bubbles).
  • As Kiki and Eddie have dinner, both admit to thinking about things they probably shouldn't. She states that she can't stop thinking about having a breadstick (since she's on a strict diet), and he tells her that he believes that means something else, but she states that it pretty much means she's dreaming about bread.
  • Gwen shows some cleavage in a dress she wears.
  • Eddie suddenly kisses Kiki and we next see her waking up in bed next to him under the sheets (suggesting that they had sex, although no activity or nudity was seen then or now).
  • We see Gwen dressed up like a scantily clad cabaret performer in a scene from the movie (she wears a very skimpy bottom that shows a great deal of her fishnet stocking covered rear end and sits in a backwards-facing chair with her legs spread). During this, Hector does some mostly subdued and clothed pelvic thrusting during a song.
  • We see Gwen telling Kiki that she slept with Hector and that it's not always about love, adding, "Sometimes you just need to get laid." She then adds that Hector can go for hours, but she just wishes he had a bigger "thing." She then compares his penis to a roll of quarters and then demonstrates that with her lipstick, but then decides that too much is sticking out and so retracts some of it back inside the lipstick case.
  • Hector then gets up and states that he's well hung and that he'll offer an inspection right now. A young woman then gets up and states that she only slept with Hector once, but knows that his penis is bigger than a role of quarters. Hector then states that none of that is true, except for the part about his penis.
  • Later, and in front of the press, Gwen states that Hector is very well-endowed, causing him to state that he's perhaps too well-endowed.
  • SMOKING
  • We see some used cigarette butts in an ashtray near Hal, while a miscellaneous man smokes in a hallway in a separate scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Eddie and Gwen have been separated for one and a half years after she cheated on him with Hector. They have various confrontations during the film, with her ultimately wanting to serve him with divorce papers (but no kids are involved).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being a celebrity and living under the spotlight of the press and the public's attention, especially in terms of one's romantic life.
  • Self-centered people.
  • Marriages that don't last.
  • How movie studies try to promote their films and/or manipulate the press that's covering them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Upset over Hal's plans, Dave grabs a phone and repeatedly smashes it against a chair.
  • Upset at seeing Gwen with Hector, Eddie drives his motorcycle through a restaurant window where they're seated (but no one is apparently harmed).
  • While played entirely for laughs, we see Gwen's Doberman attacking the window cleaner (grabbing him by the back of his shirt and dragging him away).
  • Eddie has a fantasy where he shoots Gwen several times (no blood and all played for laughs).
  • Some slapstick material includes Danny jogging along and then being hit by a golf ball in the back or back of his head, knocking him to the ground, as well as Lee accidentally knocking Eddie down and nearly off a roof by hitting him with a door.
  • After Hector throws water into his face (and the glass to the floor where it shatters), Eddie finally charges him, sending the two of them falling over a table. We then see Eddie pushing food into Hector's mouth while he has him pinned to a table. Hector eventually hits Eddie in the face with a serving tray, momentarily knocking him out and leaving a bruise on his head.



  • Reviewed July 17, 2001 / Posted July 20, 2001

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