[Screen It]


(2001) (Leelee Sobieski, Albert Brooks) (R)

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

Drama: A cynical teenage rebel and a lonely middle-aged man forge an unlikely friendship and learn something about each other and themselves when he hires her to work in his clothing store.
Jennifer (LEELEE SOBIESKI) is a 17-year-old girl who's just graduated from high school and is obsessed with death and the dark side of life. Still living at home with her excessively attentive mother, Sylvie (CAROL KANE), and stepfather, Bob (MICHAEL McKEAN), Jennifer spends most of her time being as different from the norm as possible, what with her Goth/punk look, multiple piercings, repeated visits to the cemetery and frequent writing of her own eulogy.

Not even remotely close to her long-estranged, hippie father, Ben (JOHN GOODMAN), Jennifer is lonely yet cynical, and finds her looks drawing stares from everyone, including Randall (ALBERT BROOKS), a 49-year-old, conservative manager of an upscale mall clothing store.

Jennifer has arrived there looking for a job so that she can move out of her mom's home, and despite Randall's initial reluctance, he decides to give her a break and hires her to work in the stockroom. The two eventually form an unlikely friendship, with each learning things about each other and their respective generations, as well as themselves.

Yet, when Randall suddenly falls ill, Jennifer finds herself on another mission. As nurse Patty (MARY KAY PLACE) cares for Randall, Jennifer searches for his long lost son, Randy (DESMOND HARRINGTON), hoping to find and then persuade him to meet his father.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
For language and some sexual material.
  • LEELEE SOBIESKI plays a cynical and depressed teenager who can't stand her life and thus acts and dresses like a rebel, donning a Goth/punk look with multiple piercings, etc. She also uses strong profanity, but eventually becomes more "normal" as the story progresses as she befriends and learns from Randall.
  • ALBERT BROOKS plays a mostly sedate, middle-aged man who isn't happy with life either, but isn't so obvious in outwardly showing it. He befriends Jennifer and learns to loosen up, all while also using strong profanity.
  • DESMOND HARRINGTON plays Randall's long lost son who isn't happy to learn that his father is alive, but sick. He initially has a bad attitude and uses some strong profanity, but changes his ways as the story progresses.
  • CAROL KANE plays Jennifer's often overbearing mother who comes on a little strong with her maternal love and concern for her daughter.
  • MARY KAY PLACE plays a nurse who cares for Randall once he becomes ill.
  • JOHN GOODMAN plays Jennifer's long-estranged, hippie father who uses strong profanity, and may smoke a joint (or cigarette).


    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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama/comedy. Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 26 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered (some of them in songs). Some explicit, sexually related dialogue occurs, including statements about masturbation, lesbianism and playing doctor at a young age.

    In addition, some nude female mannequins are seen -- once in something of a sexual pose - an older couple briefly makes out on a bed, and a 17-year-old crawls into bed and puts a sleeping, middle-aged man's hand down her shirt. All sorts of imitative behavior is present, particularly related to a how a cynical teen dresses, behaves and thinks (in a Goth/punk mode with multiple piercings and fascination with death, and occasional self-inflicted wounds.).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, some tense family moments are present, including those related to a character dying from leukemia. Beyond that, some characters drink and one smokes what may be a joint while briefly discussing "dropping acid" back in the '60s.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself of anyone else in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in the film.

  • Sylvie and Bob have wine with dinner.
  • Ben smokes what could be a joint, especially after he comments on him and others "dropping acid" back in the 60s.
  • Various people have wine with dinner, with a few having more afterwards.
  • We see some blood dripping onto some paper and then being smeared onto it as Jennifer writes one of her poems (and uses a safety pin to prick herself).
  • Jennifer shows Randall various self-inflicted cuts and what look like burn marks on her arms. Later, we see her cutting her arm with a safety pin (with a little bit of blood).
  • Jennifer initially has a very defiant/cynical attitude toward life and others, and steals some clothes from the initial store where she works. Some may also see her as having both types of attitudes for lying on graves in a cemetery (to feel the energy of the deceased).
  • Jennifer relates a story about being sent to a sauna when she was younger and seeing various obese women in small bathing suits (accompanied by elephant sounds on the soundtrack as we see their rear ends in those suits).
  • Randy has a bad attitude toward Jennifer and the news that she brings him.
  • Jennifer finds Randall collapsed on the road after he went for a jog.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "I'm a f*cking poet," "F*ck you, asshole," "F*ck 'em," "I won't f*ck up," "F*ck it," "F*ck you," "Sh*tty," "Bullsh*t," "What a d*ck," "T*tty bar," "(That really) Sucks," "Anal dude," "Bitchin,'" "Shut up," "What the hell," "Are you mental?" and "Damned if I know."
  • We see some blood dripping onto some paper and then being smeared onto it as Jennifer writes one of her poems (and uses a safety pin to prick herself).
  • Jennifer initially dons a Goth/punk look, with lots of dark eye makeup, multiple piercings (nose, eyebrows, under lips, etc.), tattoos, and a lock of hair that's dyed purple, and has baby dolls with many pins in their heads and a defiant/cynical attitude towards others. She's also obsessed with death and repeatedly visits cemeteries where she lies on graves to feel the energy of the deceased.
  • Various other young people have multiple piercings and/or tattoos.
  • A girl gives Jennifer "the finger."
  • Jennifer uses binoculars turned the wrong way so that she gets a distorted view of the world.
  • She also steals clothes from the initial store where she works.
  • Jennifer shows Randall various self-inflicted cuts and what look like burn marks on her arms. Later, we see her cutting her arm with a safety pin (with a little bit of blood).
  • Playing a game where Jennifer's supposed to guess what he's rubbing against her bare foot, Randy suddenly licks her foot.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song includes repeated verses of "Shaking that ass," while another has the lines, "I know you want to do it. I know I want to do it too" and another has something like "Touch me" in it. Finally, a rap song contains 2 uses of the "f" word (1 used with "mother").
  • At least 26 uses of the "f" word (2 used sexually, as are the terms "do him" and "do it," and 1 used with "mother"), 9 "s" words, 4 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck"), 2 slang terms for breasts (variations of "t*t"), 17 assess (6 used with "hole"), 3 craps, 3 damns, 1 hell, 5 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Oh God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • A female mannequin in Jennifer's bedroom shows bare breasts.
  • Trying to get rid of a classmate hitting on her, Jennifer states that she's a lesbian, prompting the boy to say he's okay with that. She then recounts to us that at the age of 14 she thought she was a lesbian, and that the big question of her generation was whether to "dive or not to dive" (a presumed lesbian oral sex reference). She then continues that those feelings stopped when her mom sent her to some sauna where she saw various obese women in bathing suits that were too small (and we then see part of these women's bare butts in those suits).
  • She then states that she now masturbates to a picture of Freddie Prinze, Jr. and that she's sure of her sexual preferences.
  • Jennifer once refers to her father as the sperm.
  • A female customer asks Jennifer for help after the pants she's trying on become stuck in an earring that's in her genitals (with Jennifer later stating that she's not the one with pants hanging from her labia). As Jennifer helps her (seen from between the girl's legs but with nothing explicit shown), this other young woman tells Jennifer that the ring makes sex amazing.
  • Jennifer states that if memory serves, she's technically still a virgin, but then relates a story about a boy in her past - while playing doctor with her at a young age -- confusing her vagina for her anus when he attempted to take her temperature with a fire engine red crayon. She then adds that from then on, whenever she hears a siren, she giggles. She then states that she doesn't have a boyfriend, but then adds that she once had an orgasm, "with myself." Later (and referring to getting some new clothes), Jennifer sarcastically states that the last time she had this much fun was with the fire engine red crayon.
  • Jennifer watches Randall moving a "naked" female mannequin (showing bare breasts) around the store, with one hand holding it at the crotch (but not being done in a sexual fashion), and we then see him screwing something into its rear end.
  • Jennifer spots a woman being friendly with Randall and states that the woman would "do him" right there in the daylight. She then later sees his butt get big (in his pants) in an exaggerated way, and then sees his head on a male body builder's body, complete with very small competing briefs. Later, when he removes some cat hair from her shirt, she remarks that he "touched my t*t."
  • Jennifer suddenly asks Randall, "Are you thinking of f*cking me?" which causes him to choke on his coffee. After he heads off to the bathroom, she imagines him returning and dancing in the club with a pool cue between his legs (and doing some pelvic thrusting with it), and then being with a woman and grabbing the clothing covering her rear end.
  • We see that Jennifer has put two female mannequins into a sexual pose of sorts, with one sitting atop the other whose legs are spread.
  • Sylvie holds and manipulates her own clothed breasts as she tells Jennifer that she (Jennifer) needs a good bra.
  • As Randall watches Jennifer dancing around outside, the camera focuses on her body, particularly her jean-covered butt.
  • Randall asks Jennifer why she can't be like a normal teenager and experiment with bisexuality (among other things).
  • Jennifer gets into bed with Randall in the morning, snuggling up with him and putting his arm around her and his hand then down inside her shirt. He then wakes up, realizes what she's done and quickly gets up, saying they need to talk.
  • Not long after meeting Jennifer and talking about Randall, Randy asks her, "Did you f*ck him?" She replies that he's her best friend, and later repeats that they never "did it."
  • Jennifer walks in and finds Randall and Patty making out on his bed (both are clothed).
  • After someone mentions that they're dying, Patty jokes that she only sleeps with unavailable men.
  • Ben smokes what could be a joint or just a cigarette.
  • Jennifer bristles at most anything her mother says or does, and seems to have almost no relationship with her stepfather. That also holds true for her long-estranged father, although that changes (both with her mother and father) later in the film.
  • Sylvie is unsettled when Jennifer claims that her dead grandmother (Sylvie's mother) is sitting across the table from her.
  • We learn that Randall was married for two years, some nineteen years ago, and that his ex-wife told their son (that he didn't know about) that he was dead.
  • Randy states that his mother was killed six months ago in a car accident and must then deal with his very ill father who he's just met.
  • Jennifer's initial behavior (including self-inflicted wounds), attitude and attire and how it changes as the story progresses.
  • The unique and somewhat odd relationship between the 49-year-old man and the 17-year-old girl.
  • Leukemia.
  • Jennifer shows Randall various self-inflicted cuts and what look like burn marks on her arms. Later, we see her cutting her arm with a safety pin (with a little bit of blood).

  • Reviewed October 5, 2001 / Posted October 12, 2001

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