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(2002) (Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
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Smoking Tense Family
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Drama: A 1950s era housewife must not only contend with her husband being gay, but also with the repercussions of her friendship with a black man.
Cathy (JULIANNE MOORE) and Frank Whitaker (DENNIS QUAID) seem to have the idyllic life. With two well-behaved kids, Janice (LINDSAY ANDRETTA) and David (RYAN WARD), a big house in Hartford, Connecticut, and Frank having a good job with electronics manufacturer Magnatech, things couldn't seem to be any better. They've even been named Mr. and Mrs. Magnatech and are the envy of their friends, including Eleanor Fine (PATRICIA CLARKSON).

Yet, when Cathy discovers Frank in the arms of another man late at night at work, her world is shattered. Although they go to see Dr. Bowman (JAMES REBHORN) who claims he can return Frank to heterosexuality, Cathy is too ashamed to tell anyone. She does, however, find a friend in Raymond Deagan (DENNIS HAYSBERT), their black gardener. He's a well-educated man who also has his own shop and is raising his young daughter, Sarah (JORDAN PURYEAR), by himself.

As the Whitaker's black housekeeper, Sybil (VIOLA DAVIS), suspiciously eyes them, Cathy and Raymond become good friends. Yet, their being together soon raises eyebrows among the predominantly white community and gossip quickly begins to spread about them.

From that point on and as her marriage with Frank continues to worsen, Cathy must decide what to do with her life and whether her friendship with Raymond is worth the gossip, stares and even violence that ensues.

Unless they're older teenagers or are fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely that they will.
For mature thematic elements, sexual content, brief violence and language.
  • JULIANNE MOORE plays a 1950s era housewife who feigns having an idyllic life. She becomes distraught over her husband coming out of the closet and then must deal with gossip and racism regarding her friendship with Raymond.
  • DENNIS QUAID plays her husband who turns out to be gay and cheating on his wife with other men. He drinks, smokes, uses brief strong profanity and feels guilty about being gay.
  • DENNIS HAYSBERT plays a well-educated black man who's raising his daughter by himself and works as a gardener for Frank and Cathy. He eventually befriends her and must then deal with the various racism-based repercussions of being seen with a white woman.
  • PATRICIA CLARKSON plays Cathy's best friend who has her opinions about gays, blacks and Cathy's involvement with Raymond.
  • VIOLA DAVIS plays the Whitakers' black housekeeper.
  • RYAN WARD and LINDSAY ANDRETTA play Frank and Cathy's kids who see him having an emotional breakdown.
  • JORDAN PURYEAR plays Raymond's daughter who must put up with racism and being chased by white boys.


    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 summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while a handful of religious and colorful phrases are also used. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, as is some brief hetero and homosexual fooling around (but nothing explicit).

    Thematic issues involve racism and a husband and wife coming to grips with the fact that he's gay and that their marriage is over. Accordingly, tense family material is present, as are various bad attitudes. Violence includes the husband backhanding his wife as well as some white boys chasing after and then hitting a black girl on the head with a thrown rock that knocks her unconscious.

    Various characters smoke and/or drink, with one being drunk in one scene and coming off as a borderline alcoholic. 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.

  • Frank and Cathy talk about him having drinks after work (he says he had just one cocktail).
  • Frank pours liquor from a flask into his coffee.
  • Various people drink in a bar where Frank orders a scotch.
  • Cathy and her friends are drinking daiquiris.
  • Cathy has wine and Frank has a drink with dinner.
  • People have drinks at a party, where Frank is drunk.
  • People have drinks in a restaurant where Cathy has a daiquiri and Raymond has bourbon.
  • Frank drinks and then has more.
  • People have champagne for New Years Eve.
  • Sara has some blood on her head after a rock hits her there.
  • Frank cheats on Cathy with other men.
  • Eleanor comments that she doesn't really care for gay people.
  • Various white people act in shock when Cathy (who's white) chats with Raymond (who's black) at an art gallery.
  • Some white boys are mean to Sarah (who's black).
  • Some white people talk about racial issues and one comments that there aren't any Negroes in Hartford (in front of black help at a party).
  • A busybody woman spots Raymond and Cathy entering a restaurant and then spreads gossip about them.
  • Frank is upset about the above and is mad at Cathy and the repercussions that could have on him.
  • A man calls Raymond "boy."
  • After a young black boy gets into a swimming pool, he's ordered out and the white people react adversely.
  • Some white boys are mean to Sarah, call her Daddy's boy and then chase after her with rocks in their hands. They eventually have her cornered and one boy throws a rock that hits her on the head, slightly bloodying her and knocking her out (the boys then run away).
  • Eleanor isn't pleased when Cathy tells her about her feelings toward Raymond.
  • Raymond tells Cathy that rocks being thrown into his house are from upset blacks.
  • Some white boys are mean to Sarah, call her Daddy's boy and then chase after her with rocks in their hands. They eventually have her cornered and one boy throws a rock that hits her on the head, bloodying her and knocking her out (the boys then run away).
  • None.
  • Phrases: "I just want to get the whole f*cking thing over with," "Oh Jeez," "Shut up" and "Freaking."
  • None.
  • A bit of dramatic music plays in a few scenes.
  • None.
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 uses each of "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Christ," "God" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • As Cathy and her friends sit around chatting, Eleanor wants to know how many times they have sex with their husbands (but asked in a more polite fashion than that). The answers vary (such as once a week and two or three times a week), and Eleanor then says that she has a friend whose husband wants it every night of the week and three more times on the weekend (all of the women giggle about that).
  • Cathy finds Frank kissing another man and we see that their shirts aren't tucked in.
  • Cathy and Frank go to see a doctor who claims he can guarantee Frank's complete heterosexual conversion.
  • Frank kisses Cathy and then lies on top of her on the sofa where he kisses her some more. He eventually stops, however, saying he can't continue (since he's gay).
  • Cathy shows some cleavage.
  • A young man runs his hand along his own chest and Frank then walks over to him (the scene ends there).
  • We see a young man in Frank's motel room (suggesting homosexual behavior).
  • Frank smokes more than 5 times, while various miscellaneous characters smoke in many scenes.
  • Frank's drinking and homosexuality put a tremendous strain on his and Cathy's marriage. He backhands her during a verbal fight, and is then mad over gossip about Cathy and Raymond. Their kids see him having an emotional breakdown, he admits to falling in love with a man and he and Cathy discuss getting a divorce.
  • Raymond mentions his father passing away and later says that his wife died when their daughter was just five and that he's been raising the girl by himself since then.
  • Racism and how black and white couples or friends are viewed now compared to in the 1950s.
  • Homosexuality and how it's viewed now compared to in the 1950s.
  • The way people think of the 1950s and other eras based on the non-realistic TV shows from then.
  • Frank backhands Cathy during a verbal fight.
  • Some white boys chase after Sarah with rocks in their hands. They eventually have her cornered and one boy throws a rock that hits her on the head, slightly bloodying her and knocking her out (the boys then run away).

  • Reviewed October 4, 2002 / Posted November 15, 2002

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