[Screen It]


(2003) (Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Minor Moderate Mild None
Mild None Minor None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy None Minor Mild Mild

Romantic Comedy: An author suffering from writer's block hires a stenographer to help write his latest romance novel in just thirty days.
Alex Sheldon (LUKE WILSON) is an author with a sticky problem. Not only is he broke, but he also owes $100,000 to some Cuban mafia figures following some bad gambling choices. He does have a way to come up with the money - by delivering his next novel to Wirschafter (ROB REINER), his publisher - but a serious case of writer's block has stymied his effort.

When one of the mob thugs torches his laptop computer, Alex hires stenographer Emma Dinsmore (KATE HUDSON) to take down his dictation. She's initially reluctant to accept the job, especially when she learns that if Alex doesn't get the money in 30 days he'll be dead, but eventually agrees to the job.

Alex then slowly starts to reveal his novel about Adam Shipley (LUKE WILSON), a 1920s era writer who's been hired to tutor the children of Polina Delacroix (SOPHIE MARCEAU), a lovely French woman who's in dire financial straits. Unless her wealthy grandmother dies and leaves Polina her inheritance, she'll have to marry her wealthy suitor, John Shaw (DAVID PAYMER).

The only problem is that Adam is instantly smitten with Polina and tries to figure out how to compete with Shaw for her affection. Along the way, he also finds himself attracted to her au pair, who changes from Ylva to Elsa to Eldora and finally to Anna (all KATE HUDSON).

With time running out and Emma having no problem throwing in her two cents regarding every writing decision he makes, Alex must race to finish the novel, all while finding himself falling for Emma and vice-versa.

If they're fans of someone in the cast or romantic comedies, they just might.
For sexual content and some language.
  • LUKE WILSON plays an author whose gambling debts have put him under the gun to finish his romance novel to make money to pay back some mob figures. He hires Emma to record his dictation and begins falling for her (they eventually sleep together).
  • LUKE WILSON also plays his literary counterpart, a tutor with a gambling problem who's attracted to his employer (whom he beds) as well as her au pair (whom he also beds).
  • KATE HUDSON plays a stenographer who initially isn't willing to work for Alex, but eventually decides to help him (although she provides commentary and opinions on most everything she writes). She sleeps with him.
  • KATE HUDSON also plays a series of au pairs in the literary work, the last one who ends up sleeping with Adam.
  • ROB REINER plays Alex's publisher.
  • SOPHIE MARCEAU plays a French woman with whom both Adam and Shaw are enamored. She ends up sleeping with Adam.
  • DAVID PAYMER plays her well-to-do suitor.


    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).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this romantic comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives, while some colorful phrases and sexually related dialogue are also present. A comical montage shows a couple engaging in various bouts of sex (in head and shoulders shots and some full body silhouette ones, the latter of which don't show anything graphic). Other passionate kissing occurs and additional sex is implied.

    Some mafia goons have bad attitudes for intimidating a character (by holding him by his feet over a balcony) and destroying some of his property over an unpaid gambling debt. Beyond that, a few characters drink and we hear one urinating.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • We see some drinks in a drawing during the opening credits.
  • Alex has a beer.
  • Adam, Polina, Shaw and others have wine with dinner.
  • We hear Alex reading what Emma rewrote for him, including that people were drinking booze.
  • Emma says that her estranged father drank himself to death.
  • We hear the sound of Alex urinating (and partially see him standing there with door open while still dictating to Emma).
  • Alex borrowed money from the Cuban mafia for gambling reasons and now owes it back. For those who don't like gambling, Alex's literary alter-ego, Adam, gambles in several scenes in the past.
  • The Cuban mafia goons have bad attitudes for threatening Alex and damaging some of his property.
  • Alex lies in his ad for a stenographer (that lures Emma in).
  • Polina asks Adam, "Would you kill for me?"
  • After having slept with Emma, Alex introduces her to an old girlfriend as his stenographer and nothing more (although he has feelings for Emma, he's confused about what to say).
  • Although played for comedy, Alex panics when he see some mafia goons approaching. He tries to hide, but they find and twice hold him by the feet over his balcony, high above the street below.
  • A Cuban mafia guy bashes some items in Alex's place, including his TV, with a baseball bat as a warning.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "Pissing it away," "Fat old fart," "Pain in the ass," "Balls" (testicles), "Nuts" (crazy), "Idiot," "One pulls one's head out of one's ass," "Who the hell could that be?" "Bitch," "Dimwit and Low-boy" and "Screwed up."
  • Some mafia goons twice hold Alex by the feet over his balcony, high above the street below. One of them then holds Alex's laptop above the gas stove, catching the computer on fire.
  • A man has some tattoos.
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of comically suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • At least 2 asses, 1 hell, 6 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Jesus," and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • Realizing that Alex lied about the stenographer ad that brought her to his place, Emma tells him, "If you want sex, you're barking up the wrong body." He then says that there's no one he's less interested in having sex with than her.
  • We see a close-up of Polina's cleavage as she dabs perfume there and Alex narrates about her ample bosom (and Emma sarcastically asks if it's heaving).
  • Elsa spills hot water onto Adam's clothed crotch and then kneels down to his crotch to blow on it.
  • We hear Alex reading what Emma rewrote for him, including that Adam was hot for Polina.
  • Alex and Polina do some passionate, clothed kissing and then fall down onto a bed (seen twice and played for comedy as part of the storytelling). Emma later comments on Alex having the characters tumble into bed.
  • We see a comical and quickly cut montage of Adam and Polina having sex. We see alternating shots of each on top of the other (in head and shoulder shots with suggested/implied movement) as well as various, full-body silhouetted shots of them having sex (but nothing graphic and no details are seen). When they're done (after a great deal of implied sex), both lie side by side and are sweaty (nothing explicit is seen). In the present day, Alex says he's exhausted from dictating such a scene and Emma says that she bets he is. Later, she comments that Adam never should have jumped in bed with Polina.
  • A comment is made about Adam pondering Polina and Shaw's pending wedding night.
  • Adam and Anna briefly kiss.
  • It's implied that Adam and Anna had sex as we see them in bed in the spoons position (no nudity).
  • Adam imagines Polina and Anna discussing their relationships with him, with Polina mentioning the wildest, most passionate sex he's ever experienced, and then remembering that it was her and not Anna who provided that to him.
  • With only one night to meet their deadline, Emma tells Alex they should both sleep in his bed (since sleeping on the couch will provide no rest). He then jokingly states that she wants to sleep with him, but then adds that they're using the term in the rarely used literal fashion (meaning sleeping rather than sex). We then see both of them lying in his bed clothed. They eventually kiss (briefly and the scene ends there), but we then see them working in bed the next morning (he's shirtless and she appears to be wearing only a shirt of his, but we don't see any nudity).
  • Emma asks Alex if he's "been with" many women like Polina.
  • We see Polina in a bubble bath (we see her bare back and the bubbles cover her front). She then stands nude before Adam as he puts a robe around her, but we don't see any nudity.
  • We see passionate, clothed kissing (separately between Adam & Anna and Alex & Emma) as both stand.
  • None.
  • We hear that Polina's grandmother has died (she hears it too), but it's played somewhat for laughs in the literary flashback. Later, the grandmother character has been brought back to life, but then dies again.
  • Emma says that her mother died 6 years ago and heard that her estranged father drank himself to death.
  • Romance.
  • Writer's block.
  • Gambling and related debts.
  • Hypochondriacs.
  • Some mafia goons twice hold Alex by the feet over his balcony, high above the street below. One of them then holds Alex's laptop above the gas stove, catching the computer on fire.
  • Adam accidentally gets chalk in his eye.
  • Emma falls while stepping off the curb to get on a bus and lands on the street.
  • A Cuban mafia guy bashes some items in Alex's place, including his TV, with a baseball bat as a warning.

  • Reviewed June 16, 2003 / Posted June 20, 2003

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