[Screen It]


(2001) (Tim Allen, Julie Bowen) (PG)

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

Comedy: A nearly anonymous, divorced father enjoys his newfound popularity after he announces he's going to fight the company bully.
Joe Scheffer (TIM ALLEN) is a video communications specialist - a.ka. the A/V guy - whose life has been better. Although he has a good relationship with his 12-year-old daughter, Natalie (HAYDEN PANETTIERE), he's now divorced from her mother, Callie (KELLY LYNCH), and isn't recognized for his work and many years of service at Starke Pharmaceuticals.

Things get worse when one of the junior employees, Mark McKinney (PATRICK WARBURTON), cuts him off in the parking lot and then slaps him around in front of Natalie and his coworkers. When Joe doesn't return to work for several days, one of the executives, Jeremy (GREG GERMANN), sends the company's wellness coordinator, Meg Harper (JULIE BOWEN), to his home to find out what's wrong and get him to return to work without suing the company.

Realizing he must stand up for himself, Joe announces he's going to beat up Mark, a proclamation that suddenly makes him quite popular with his coworkers. The only problem is, Mark's a big guy, so Joe begins taking lessons from martial arts instructor and former "B" movie actor, Chuck Scarett (JIM BELUSHI), so that he has a fighting chance in their upcoming "rematch."

With just three weeks before the fight, and while enjoying his newfound popularity and fame, Joe tries to learn what he must to take on Mark, all while Callie and Natalie become disheartened with how Joe has changed.

If they're fans of someone in the cast, they just might.
For language, thematic elements and some mild violence.
  • TIM ALLEN plays a nearly anonymous video communications specialist who's depressed because his marriage has ended and a company bully has embarrassed him in front of others. He then decides to fight the bully, a point that suddenly makes him popular with his coworkers and boosts his self-confidence.
  • HAYDEN PANETTIERE plays Joe's precocious 12-year-old daughter who's reacting to her parents' divorce by getting a bit of an attitude and allowing her grades to drop. She also uses some profanity.
  • KELLY LYNCH plays Joe's ex-wife who suddenly finds him attractive once again after his confidence level rises.
  • JULIE BOWEN plays a wellness coordinator who tries to help Joe but then becomes dismayed when his personality changes once he decides to fight Mark and becomes popular with his coworkers. She uses some mild profanity.
  • GREG GERMANN plays her slimy boss who's only interested in himself and preventing Joe from possibly suing the company.
  • PATRICK WARBURTON plays a 7-year employee at the company who bullies and then physically strikes Joe. He also uses some profanity.
  • JIM BELUSHI plays a martial arts instructor and former "B" movie star who teaches Joe how to fight Mark. He also briefly uses profanity and drinks some.


    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 PG-rated comedy/drama. Profanity consists of at least 1 "s" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is also present, while we briefly see one woman in her panties and another in a teddy (lingerie).

    A bully at work slaps around the protagonist - and thus has some bad attitudes as do a few other characters - while some other hitting (some of it during martial arts training) and some accidental/slapstick style violence is also present. A family is dealing with the aftermath of a recent divorce, while various characters drink and/or smoke.

    Beyond that, the remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information about the film's content.

  • We see some empty beer bottles in Joe's place, and then see even more in the trash in a later scene, indicating he's been drowning his sorrows.
  • Later, Joe has a beer when Meg comes to visit him.
  • When Joe suddenly stops by Mark's place, Mark thinks he's "hopped up" on samples from their company (he's not).
  • When Joe states that he needs a drink, Jeremy offers him Scotch (which we see him pull out), but Joe states he wants water, prompting Jeremy to ask "Scotch and water?" Joe only wants water, however.
  • Chuck drinks a beer.
  • A few background people in a bar have drinks.
  • Joe and Meg have beer in a bar.
  • After sparring, Chuck asks if there's any beer, but Joe just throws him some water.
  • Chuck drinks a beer in the morning.
  • Joe has a little bit of a bloody nose after Mark punches him.
  • We briefly hear Joe vomit in the bathroom.
  • Mark is mean and disrespectful to Joe, first cutting him off in the parking lot and then taking the parking space he was waiting for (one in which he's not supposed to park anyway). He then bullies Joe and eventually slaps him around in front of Natalie and their coworkers.
  • Jeremy has a slimy disposition, as he's only interested in himself and not having the company be sued.
  • Jeremy stares at Meg's clothed butt as she walks out of an office and later threatens to fire her if she talks about their conversations about Joe.
  • Natalie develops a bit of a bad attitude, particularly toward her schoolwork (she skips class) and the guidance counselor who tries to help her.
  • Various people place bets on the pending fight and are then upset when it seems like it won't happen.
  • It's possible that the scene where Mark threatens Joe, and then slaps and backhands him, sending him to the parking lot with a bit of a bloody nose, could be a little unsettling for some viewers.
  • We see a movie poster with Chuck holding a machine gun.
  • Phrases: "Unbearable sh*t," "Get off your ass," "Weekend from hell," "Silly ass," "Ass-guy" (said instead of "assh*le"), "Ass wipe," "Getting your ass kicked," "Dirt bag," "Big jerk," "Schmuck," "Bitch-slapped," "Jeez," "Got my ass kicked," "Shut up," "Holy crap," "Balls of steel" and "Nuts" (testicles), "No frickin' way," "Put a cork in it," "What the hell /is that (supposed to mean)?" "Nuts" (crazy), "Kiss my ass," "Where the hell is he?" "I'll be damned" and "Tramp."
  • Some kids might want to imitate the martial arts moves/fighting shown in the film.
  • Joe uses shaving cream as mousse in his hair.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 1 "s" word, 1 slang term for male genitals ("peter"), 17 asses, 6 hells, 5 damns, 2 craps, 3 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes," "God" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • Callie shows some cleavage.
  • Jeremy stares at Meg's clothed butt (that we don't see) as she walks out of an office.
  • After Joe is introduced to his squash game opponents who are both named Peter, a comment is made about there being two Peters, with Joe then correcting that by stating that there are actually four peters between them (referring to the slang for male genitals).
  • We briefly see Meg in her panties and tank top, as her robe is open as she talks to Joe on the phone.
  • Natalie catches Callie trying to sneak out of the house wearing just a coat over her red teddy (as she plans to visit Joe) that we see as the coat is open. She never leaves, however, as Natalie chats with her.
  • Jeremy lies to Joe and states that there was some sexual tension between him (Jeremy) and Meg and that they had a thing. Joe then visits Meg and states that Jeremy said that she slept with him. She asks if that bothers him and Joe says that it does, but she then says that it never happened.
  • Joe (cigar), Chuck and Meg all briefly smoke once, while Joe also has an unlit cigar in his mouth and his boss carries one.
  • We learn that Joe and Callie have been divorced sometime recently. There are various discussions about this, including Natalie saying she's scared and misses him, and Callie saying she feels all alone (prompting Natalie to ask how that can be since she - Natalie - is there).
  • Bullies and how to deal with them.
  • Joe's decision about whether to fight or not.
  • How Joe felt more like somebody once he decided to stand up against Mark.
  • Panic attacks (Joe has one).
  • Mark threatens Joe, and then slaps and backhands him, sending him to the parking lot with a bit of a bloody nose.
  • After Chuck goads him into attacking, Joe throws a punch that Chuck easily avoids. Chuck, however, then jabs Joe in the throat, causing him to gasp and choke.
  • During a game of squash, the ball accidentally hits Joe in the crotch. Later, Joe hits the ball that accidentally ricochets out of the court and hits a wall clock, causing it to fall and smash through a glass display case.
  • During training, Chuck purposefully kicks Joe in the crotch (we later see him sitting on a huge bag of ice).
  • Play-acting with a mannequin posing as a bully, Joe knocks its head off.
  • In a brief daydream, Joe imagines racing down a store aisle, bashing carts with Mark who eventually knocks him over through a floor display.
  • A professional basketball player accidentally knocks Joe from his courtside seat (but both are okay).
  • While bending over in a traditional martial arts bowing fashion, Joe accidentally slams his head onto the bathroom counter.
  • After Jeremy threatens Joe and then runs up and spins him around, Joe jabs him in the throat, causing him to choke.

  • Reviewed December 16, 2001 / Posted December 21, 2001

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