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"THE SAVAGES"
(2007) (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: Adult siblings must figure out what to do with their formerly abusive father now that he's suffering from progressively worsening dementia.
PLOT:
When his elderly girlfriend unexpectedly drops dead in Arizona, something must be done with senior citizen Lenny Savage (PHILIP BOSCO), particularly since he's suffering from progressively worsening dementia. Accordingly, his adult kids are notified of this need. 42-year-old theater professor Jon (PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN) has never been close to his dad. Moreover, the apparent abuse he suffered at his hands as a child has left Jon unable to marry longtime girlfriend Kasia (CARA SEYMOUR), resulting in her having to move back to Poland due to an expired visa.

His 39-year-old sister and aspiring playwright, Wendy (LAURA LINNEY), isn't any better off, as she's currently stuck in an unhappy affair with her married, 52-year-old neighbor, Larry (PETER FRIEDMAN), and has low self-esteem due to her father's earlier lack of support. As the tables are now turned, however, the two siblings must decide what to do with him.

Jon thinks a nursing home is the best option, while Wendy believes that would make her feel guilty and thus thinks the best decision would be for her to care for him directly. From that point on, they weigh their options as they decide how to proceed, all while dealing with their feelings toward the man who damaged them in their formative years.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of anyone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN plays a middle-aged theater professor who has no love lost for his ailing father due to past issues (that, among other things, prevent him from being able to fully commit to his long-time girlfriend). He uses strong profanity, briefly takes prescription medication for the effect it will have on him, and must sort out his feelings about how to deal with his father's situation.
  • LAURA LINNEY plays his slightly younger sister, an aspiring playwright who suffers from low self-esteem, and feels guilty about the thought of putting their dad into a nursing a home. She smokes, uses prescription drugs as an escape, uses strong profanity, and is having an affair with her married neighbor.
  • PHILIP BOSCO plays their father who suffers from dementia and thus goes in and out of recognizing his condition and his adult children's behavior and actions toward him. He uses some profanity.
  • PETER FRIEDMAN plays Wendy's older, married neighbor who's having an affair with her.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated dramedy. Profanity consists of at least 6 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also heard. Sexually related dialogue is present, as is the sight of several sexual encounters (involving a woman having an affair with a married man, and that include movement and some sounds, but no explicit nudity).

    Tense family material is present, as are bad attitudes, while characters smoke and/or drink, while some take prescription medication for the sedative effect (and some kids may want to imitate that and one other action). Meanwhile, some scatological material is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camerawork in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jon and Wendy have drinks in a club, as do miscellaneous people.
  • Wendy takes Doris' prescription Percocet from her medicine cabinet (Doris is dead at this time). We then see Wendy reacting to that drug, and looking rather happy.
  • Jon's girlfriend has a drink.
  • Jon discovers that Wendy has left Percocet for him, and then both end up taking one pill each. We then see Jon reacting to this drug while driving, and he appears to go through a red light while gazing upward out the window.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A home health care professional informs Lenny that the latter did not flush the toilet after its last use. He then tells Lenny he must do that, and thus the older man goes into the bathroom and closes the door. When the man opens the door, he finds Lenny with human excrement all over his hands, as well as the word "pr*ck" written on the wall in human feces.
  • Wendy calls Jon, telling him that their father is writing in his "sh*t."
  • We see urine filling a catheter bag.
  • When Wendy states that she could care for their father at her place, Jon asks if she wants to be changing their father's diapers and wiping his "ass."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Wendy steals pens and other such material from the stockroom where she's working as a freelancer.
  • We learn that Wendy is having an affair with Larry who is married.
  • Jon's girlfriend Kasia is moving back to Poland because her visa has expired and Jon won't marry her despite them dating for three years.
  • Wendy takes Doris' prescription Percocet from her medicine cabinet (Doris is dead at this time).
  • Wendy lies to Jon about getting a writing grant from a foundation.
  • Jon and Wendy cringe while watching the movie "The Jazz Singer" due to being in the company of several black people who understandably don't look comfortable watching Al Jolson apply blackface (the video was chosen by their father and played in the community room in front of residents and staff).
  • Jon and Wendy get into an argument regarding her having lied about receiving a grant for her playwriting. She eventually compares him to their father, saying that Jon is just like Lenny and that he doesn't think she can do anything.
  • We hear that Wendy has taken a FEMA grant and is living off that, stating that it's from 9/11 (defending that by saying she couldn't find work after the attacks).
  • We see the rehearsal for Wendy's play that shows an actor pretending to be a father hitting his young son repeatedly (there is no contact in this rehearsal, but this is meant to represent what happened to Jon in his childhood).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Lenny's elderly girlfriend suddenly collapses face-first onto a table while getting her nails done (she is dead - this is played lightly, but may nevertheless be unsettling for some viewers).
  • We hear that Larry is going to put his elderly dog to sleep due to it having bad hips. However, we later see that dog in some sort of harness as it runs along with Wendy as she jogs.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck are you talking about?" "It's a f*cking horror show," "Just f*cking calm down about it," "Big f*cking deal," "I'm not paid to take care of your sh*t," "Let's stay out of each other's sh*t," "I'm totally getting a hard-on," "What the hell /are you doing/you talking about?" "What is this, a G*ddamn fashion show?" "Piss this guy off," "Where the hell have you been?" "Pissed off," "It looks like the Unabomber lives here," "What, are you a bunch of idiots?" "You're an idiot," "A hell of a lot more support," "That bastard," "You son of a bitch," "Go to hell you G*ddamn old vegetable," "Let her ask the G*ddamn questions," "Piss," "Are you out of your mind?" and "Let's cut the crap."
  • A home health care professional opens a bathroom door and finds Lenny with human excrement all over his hands, as well as the word "pr*ck" written on the wall in human feces.
  • Wendy takes Doris' prescription Percocet from her medicine cabinet (Doris is dead at this time). We then see Wendy reacting to that drug, and looking rather happy.
  • Jon discovers that Wendy has left Percocet for him, and then both end up taking one pill each. We then see Jon reacting to this drug while driving, and he appears to go through a red light while gazing upward out the window.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 "f" words, 7 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("do it"), 2 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck" and "pr*ck" -- the latter is written), 7 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 1 crap, 3 uses of "G-damn," 2 each of "God," "Jesus" and "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Larry passionately kisses Wendy up against a wall. She tells them they should move over to the bed, but he says they should "do it" on the floor, "So you can feel how hard my c*ck is." She doesn't want to, however, prompting him to say that she used to like that. She then sits on the bed and removes her shirt, and we see her in her cleavage-revealing bra, and he kisses her on her back. She mentions some sort of medical condition involving her cervix (although we know from a telephone call on her answering machine that her Pap smear was normal), but we then see a head and shoulders view of them having sex (from above and the side) with his movement, some sounds, and a bored look on her face occurring.
  • Wendy shows some cleavage while bending over, as well as some bare upper thigh while changing clothes.
  • We see a woman on TV exercising in her sports bra.
  • We see a back view of Lenny in a diaper when his pants fall down on a plane.
  • We see Lenny shirtless.
  • While talking to Wendy on the phone, and lying on her bed with his dog and her cat, Larry jokes that he's totally getting a "hard on." After he mentions having to go away for a week with his wife and her family, Wendy asks if he still has that "hard on." During this, Wendy is in a bubble bath, and we see the top of her bare chest, but nothing else.
  • We see movement under the covers in a motel, but Wendy then has Larry gets off from on top of her. Both then sit up in bed, mostly under the covers, with Wendy holding a pillow over her bare chest and Larry appearing shirtless.
  • About their affair, Wendy tells Larry that she is just trying to have a healthy sex life.
  • Wendy suddenly kisses a male nursing home employee, but he doesn't return that passion because he has a girlfriend.
  • SMOKING
  • Wendy smokes at least twice, Kasia smokes once, and a nursing home worker briefly smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Wendy has written a play entitled "Wake Me When It's Over" about her childhood.
  • Wendy calls Jon, telling him that their father is writing in his "sh*t."
  • Jon and Wendy visit the adult daughter of Lenny's elderly girlfriend who has recently died.
  • Wendy states in dismay that there were no pictures of her or her brother at their father's place, as if the two siblings didn't exist.
  • We hear that Jon and Wendy haven't seen their father in a long time.
  • After putting their father in a nursing home, Wendy keeps repeating that they are horrible people (meaning her and Jon).
  • Jon tells Wendy that they are taking better care of their father than he ever did of them.
  • Wendy cries about the situation involving her father, and when asked, states that her mom is not around and was not a good parent.
  • Jon and Wendy get into an argument regarding her having lied about receiving a grant for her playwriting. She eventually compares him to their father, saying that Jon is just like Lenny and that he doesn't think she can do anything.
  • Spoiler Alert: Jon and Wendy receive a call that their father is near death, and thus both go to see him. When they wake up the next morning, he is dead and they react accordingly.
  • We see the rehearsal for Wendy's play that shows an actor pretending to be a father hitting his young son repeatedly (there is no contact in this rehearsal, but this is meant to represent what happened to Jon in his childhood).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Strained parent/child relationships.
  • We hear that Lenny suffers from dementia that is believed to be caused by Parkinson's disease.
  • How parent/child roles often become reversed when the former lose the ability to care for themselves (mentally and/or physically).
  • Nursing homes.
  • After putting their father in a nursing home, Wendy keeps repeating that they are horrible people (meaning her and Jon).
  • Jon and Wendy cringe while watching the movie "The Jazz Singer" due to being in the company of several black people who understandably don't look comfortable watching Al Jolson apply blackface (the video was chosen by their father and played in the community room in front of residents and staff).
  • Jon's comment that nursing homes and their beautiful landscaping are designed for the people who put their loved ones into such facilities, rather than for the people who live in them (to make the former feel more comfortable with their guilt).
  • About their affair, Wendy tells Larry that she is just trying to have a healthy sex life.
  • A nursing home employee talks about one sign of an impending death being the curling of a patient's toes.
  • We hear that Larry is going to put his elderly dog to sleep due to it having bad hips. However, we later see that dog in some sort of harness as it runs along with Wendy as she jogs.
  • We see the rehearsal for Wendy's play that shows an actor pretending to be a father hitting his young son repeatedly (there is no contact in this rehearsal, but this is meant to represent what happened to Jon in his childhood).
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed October 9, 2008 / Posted January 4, 2008

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