[Screen It]


(2002) (Kieran Culkin, Claire Danes) (R)

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

Drama: A young man tries to come to grips with himself and his dysfunctional family that turned him into the person he is.
Igby Slocumb (KIERAN CULKIN) is a disillusioned 17-year-old who has a knack for getting kicked out of every school his self-absorbed, pill-popping mother, Mimi (SUSAN SARANDON), manages to get him enrolled in. There's little doubt about why Igby is the way he is. Beyond his mother - who also has terminal breast cancer - his father Jason (BILL PULLMAN) is schizophrenic and his older brother Oliver (RYAN PHILLIPPE) is a cold, calculating and opportunistic college freshman.

Thus, when Igby's godfather, D.H. Banes (JEFF GOLDBLUM), offers him the chance to come and work with him in New York over the summer, Igby agrees. There he meets Rachel (AMANDA PEET), D.H.'s alluring mistress; her friend Russell (JARED HARRIS), a flamboyant performance artist; and Sookie Sapperstein (CLAIRE DANES), a fellow disillusioned sort who's taking a year off from college to find herself.

As Igby interacts with them and his various family members, he repeatedly tries to break free from his upper crust trappings as well as the madness and dysfunction that have torn his family and himself apart.

Older teens might be interested in it, as might any who's a fan of someone in the cast, but it's unlikely many younger kids will be interested in it.
For language, sexuality and drug content.
  • KIERAN CULKIN plays the disillusioned 17-year-old who doesn't get along with his family, smokes, uses drugs, has sex with Rachel and Sookie and is basically a confused slacker.
  • CLAIRE DANES plays a young and equally dissatisfied young woman who Igby meets and falls for. She sleeps with him, but then also does so with Oliver. She uses strong profanity, does drugs and smokes.
  • RYAN PHILLIPPE plays Igby's older and superficial brother who steals Sookie away from him, drinks and uses strong profanity.
  • SUSAN SARANDON plays their self-absorbed mother who drinks, uses drugs and is dying of cancer.
  • BILL PULLMAN plays their severely disturbed and unbalanced father.
  • JEFF GOLDBLUM plays Igby's materialistic godfather who's having an affair with Rachel.
  • AMANDA PEET plays his choreographer-cum-heroin junkie girlfriend who also has sex with Igby, uses strong profanity and smokes.
  • JARED HARRIS plays a flamboyant performance artist and Rachel's close friend who somewhat befriends Igby. He smokes a joint.


    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).

    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated "dramedy." Profanity consists of at least 35 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some sexually related dialogue is uttered, while several sexual encounters are observed (with movement and sounds) or implied. Nonsexual nudity (bare breasts, bare buttocks) also occurs.

    Various characters drink and/or smoke, while some also take, use or sell various forms of drugs including pot, prescription pills and heroin (off-screen), with one being observed as being a junkie. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including a married man having an affair and a dysfunctional family toward its various members.

    Tense family moments abound in the film, but many are played for laughs, as is some of the violence that includes an assisted suicide. Various characters punch or hit others and there are some bloody results (particularly from a man who purposefully slams his hand through a glass shower stall door). Thematic issues involve terminal cancer, addiction, assisted suicide, mental illness and dysfunctional families.

    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.

  • Oliver and Igby comment on their mother's taking of so many drugs that she's built up an intolerance for the poison she's taken.
  • Jason throws some of his prescription pills at Mimi after making a toast. She in turn downs one with a glass of wine.
  • Igby smokes a joint and then tries to hide evidence of that (the smell, the red eyes, etc.) from his military school superiors.
  • Mimi, D.H. and Oliver have wine with dinner.
  • Igby takes some pills from his mom's purse and later downs one with some liquor.
  • A medical internist comments on Mimi having prescriptions from four different doctors who are unaware of her receiving drugs from the others and mentions that she pops speed like candy.
  • Various people have drinks at a party, including Igby who holds one.
  • Mimi and D.H.'s wife have wine.
  • Sookie walks up to Igby on the street and tells him that she has a "dime bag" and that gets his attention (and he makes some drug related remarks).
  • We then see Sookie carefully rolling a joint and Igby makes various humorous remarks about her technique, what it means about her, and compares her petite joints to bigger ones. We then see her smoking it as they walk through a park and Igby then wants to take a hit from it. She also comments on taking time off from beer, diet pills and other things.
  • D.H. holds a drink.
  • Igby mentions heroin junkies in a conversation with Sookie.
  • Oliver and Sookie drink liquor.
  • We see heroin track lines on Rachel's arms.
  • Mimi has wine.
  • Igby finds Rachel passed out from taking something.
  • We see some wine on a tray next to Igby.
  • Igby goes to an apartment where he repeatedly gives a code for drugs over the intercom (one of the girls inside says that's what it is to the other who didn't know what he was talking about). One of the women then eats brownies that might be laced with pot (we never know either way). Igby later delivers drugs to another couple (asking if they want him to cut the drugs).
  • Russell smokes a joint.
  • Rachel acts very high around Igby.
  • Mimi comments on popping Secanol like a junkie.
  • Oliver drinks scotch.
  • D.H. has a drink.
  • Oliver has a Bloody Mary.
  • We hear Mimi vomiting.
  • Igby has a tiny bit of a bloody nose after Rachel punches him.
  • In a flashback, we see blood on the bathroom floor and then on Jason's wet pajamas and on his arm and hand (after he slammed his hand against and through a glass shower stall door).
  • We see heroin track lines on Rachel's arms.
  • Igby has a bloody nose (with a blood-soaked tissue in it) and some below his eyebrow after being repeatedly punched.
  • We see the side of Rachel's bare butt as she sits on the toilet. She then notes that there's no toilet paper (while high), so Igby hands her some of Russell's clothing that she uses to wipe herself (nothing graphic is seen).
  • Some viewers may take offense at some of the film's material and its black humor approach at dealing with it, such as Igby and Oliver assisting in their mother's suicide attempt, etc. Similarly, they might not like Igby asking a priest that if Heaven is such a wonderful place, why Jesus being crucified was such a "big f*cking sacrifice." Someone also makes a comment that Mimi must have had compromising photos of a priest and an altar boy to get Igby into parochial school. *Igby repeatedly and purposefully flunks out of every school he attends and has a slacker attitude toward most everything and everyone, and vehemently does not like his family. He also takes pills and a credit card from his mom's purse and then skips returning to military school. *Various young men repeatedly poke Igby with broom handles until he falls to the floor (with a sheet over his head and torso). *A counselor slaps Igby on the head for being a smart aleck and then does so again. *D.H., who's married, is having an affair with Rachel and even invites her to a party where his wife is attending. *Oliver makes somewhat unwelcome advances toward Sookie (running his hand through her hair, touching her clothed body, etc.), but they eventually have sex (despite him knowing that she's been having sex with Igby). *When Oliver states that the doctors found another lump in their mother's breast, Igby says, "Good." *Russell tells Igby that his and Oliver's mercy killing should be viewed as an act of God. Igby then replies that if there were a God, He would have acted sooner (in ending Mimi's life).
  • Some scenes listed under "Violence" may be disturbing or unsettling for some viewers.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck are you doing?" "F*ck you," "Shut the f*ck up," "Where the f*ck are you?" "F*ck off," "You f*cked up," "F*cking idiot," "F*ck-wit," "This is f*cking perfect," "Kicked the sh*t out of you," "You pr*ck," "C*nt face," "Shut up," "Chick" (woman), "Bitch" (said by one miscellaneous woman to another), "JAP" (Jewish American Princess), "Pissing," "Psycho bitch," "Take a piss" and "I'm drowning in assholes."
  • Igby's behavior and attitude might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • We see Igby throwing water balloons down from a roof onto people on the sidewalk.
  • None.
  • A tiny and brief bit of such music plays in one scene.
  • None.
  • At least 35 "f" words (1 written on a mirror), 7 "s" words, 2 slang terms for sex ("screwing"), 3 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck" and "d*ck"), 1 slang term for female genitals ("c*nt"), 4 asses (all used with "hole"), 1 damn, 3 uses of "God," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For God's sakes" and "My God" as exclamations.
  • Jason stands nude before his family at the dinner table. We see alternating shots with one showing a close-up of his bare butt in the foreground of the shot, while the reverse angle has Mimi's head and body blocking any explicit views of his frontal nudity.
  • The camera focuses on Rachel's clothed butt as she passes by (to represent Igby starring there) and she acts a bit sultry toward D.H.
  • Someone makes a comment that Mimi must have had compromising photos of a priest and an altar boy to get Igby into parochial school.
  • Igby finds what looks like an open condom package in his rollaway bed in Rachel's work loft. We then see a woman's legs approaching Igby and then see that it's Rachel who gets on top of him. We then see the motion of her hand doing something down in their pelvic regions and then see that they're having sex with her on top of him. We see alternating shots between a sideways head and shoulders shot and an aerial view that shows her bare back, and they include movement, sounds and her pleasured facial reactions.
  • Sookie tells Igby that marijuana isn't visceral for her, but that sex is.
  • Igby returns to Rachel's work loft to find D.H. sitting there with his pants around his ankles (we see him in his underwear) and Rachel nearby (implying something sexual).
  • Igby and Sookie passionately kiss. The camera then pans across their discard clothes on the floor until we come to a bed where they're playfully rolling around and laughing (we see her in her bra under the covers as he falls out and then gets back on top of her). Sex is implied and we then see her with her head on his bare chest as they snuggle.
  • Igby comments that Sookie is "nymphomanical."
  • Oliver finds Sookie and Igby in bed, sleeping (apparently nude) under the covers (as she then gets up with the covers around her).
  • Oliver wonders if Sookie's mom was a lesbian due to never marrying, but Sookie says that she was a failed heterosexual.
  • Oliver and Sookie passionately kiss and it's implied that they have sex.
  • We see Rachel's bare breasts as she stands before a mirror and shaves her armpits in front of Igby and Russell.
  • We see Igby drawing nipples on the photo of a clothed model on the cover of Cosmo.
  • Oliver wonders if Igby is "screwing" Rachel.
  • We see Sookie in her panties and it's implied that she was fooling around with Oliver who later leaves her place.
  • Igby tells a lie to a former teacher about Oliver wiping out in a bicycle accident after being aroused by the site of himself in a reflection on the bike.
  • We see an upset man dressed in drag.
  • A drawing shows a bare-breasted woman.
  • We see the side of Rachel's bare butt as she sits on the toilet.
  • Igby asks Sookie if they can go and have sex, but she says no, that it will leave him feeling empty and sad. She then says he'd be better off masturbating.
  • Rachel, Igby, Jason, Sookie (clove cigarettes) and D.H. (cigars) all smoke several times, while a miscellaneous character also smokes.
  • Igby talks to an unidentified person on the phone and comments that they sound older than eleven and then agrees that it's probably the cigarettes that cause that.
  • Igby asks Sookie if he can bum a clove cigarette from her, but she says no, while moments later, he starts to smoke with Rachel, but Oliver puts out the cigarette in his drink.
  • In a flashback, young Oliver finds row after row of carefully arranged cigarettes in his father's desk drawers.
  • Igby's family is completely dysfunctional, with none of them liking any of the others and the father is schizophrenic, and family tension is present throughout the film.
  • In a flashback, Igby sees his father have a mental breakdown in the shower (after entering it and taking a shower in his pajamas).
  • Various family members deal with a death in the family in their own unique way (only one seems truly upset). We briefly see part of the later funeral service.
  • Dysfunctional families.
  • Disillusionment.
  • Mental illness.
  • Cancer.
  • Drug use.
  • We see an upset man dressed in drag.
  • Assisted suicide.
  • We see Igby and Oliver assisting in their mother's suicide attempt. They've given her some sort of poison, but when that doesn't work, Oliver then puts a bag over her head and wraps it tight around her neck. She then comes to and gasps for air, but the scene ends there (and it's all played in a black humor fashion). We later see the end of this scene again where they're successful.
  • Jason throws some of his prescription pills at Mimi.
  • Upset at him, Mimi pushes Igby against the wall and then repeatedly hits him with her gloves.
  • Various young men repeatedly poke Igby with broom handles until he falls to the floor (with a sheet over his head and torso).
  • We see a brief shot of an upset Mimi sitting on pillow that's on the maid's face (as the maid is prone on the floor - and played for laughs).
  • A counselor slaps Igby on the head for being a smart aleck and then does so again (played for laughs).
  • Russell tosses down a key from a loft that hits Igby on the head while he stands on the street.
  • We see two miscellaneous young women struggling on the ground in a park (played for laughs).
  • Mad at Igby, Rachel punches and then gets on top of him where she flails at him some more (resulting in a slightly bloody nose).
  • In a flashback, we see blood on the bathroom floor and then on Jason's wet pajamas and on his arm and hand (after he slammed his hand against and through a glass shower stall door).
  • D.H. punches Igby in the face and then repeatedly punches him (we don't see the impact that's visually blocked by his body).
  • A person punches a dead body (and the bed beneath it) that's under some bed covers (for being upset that the other person is dead).

  • Reviewed September 16, 2002 / Posted September 20, 2002

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