[Screen It]


(2002) (Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman) (PG-13)

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

Drama: A young man temporarily moves in with his fiancée's parents as they try to deal with her recent murder.
Joe Nast (JAKE GYLLENHAAL) is a young man who's trying to do both the right thing and what's expected of him after the shocking murder of his fiancée, Diana Floss (CAREENA MELIA). He's now temporarily moved in with her parents, Ben (DUSTIN HOFFMAN) and JoJo (SUSAN SARANDON) who are dealing with the loss in their own ways.

Ben wants Joe to join him in his commercial realty business, believing that getting on with their lives and keeping busy by making deals with the like of Mike Mulcahey (DABNEY COLEMAN) will get them through this.

JoJo, a writer, becomes increasingly annoyed at most every outsider who offers their heartfelt or forced condolences, while she, Ben and Joe meet with Mona Camp (HOLLY HUNTER), the local assistant D.A. who wants to put away Diana's captured murderer for good.

Meanwhile, Joe tries to maintain his role as the grieving husband-to-be, but runs into a conflict when he meets Bertie Knox (ELLEN POMPEO). She's the local post office manger who helps him retrieve the already mailed wedding invitations before they go out. She also tends bar at Cal's Place, a corner pub owned by her boyfriend who's now been missing in action in Vietnam for the past three years.

As she and Joe find themselves drawn to each other, they, as well as Ben and JoJo try to come to grips with the loses in their lives and letting go of their loved ones.

Those who are fans of someone in the cast, as well as older teenagers might, but this one doesn't otherwise seem overly attractive to most kids.
For some sensuality and brief strong language.
  • JAKE GYLLENHAAL plays a young man who's coping with the recent murder of his fiancée as well as the fact that he can't bring himself to tell her parents, with whom he's now staying, that they had broken up before her death. Unsure of what to do, he eventually finds solace in Bertie (with whom he apparently has sex). He also uses some profanity.
  • DUSTIN HOFFMAN plays the murdered girl's father who's having a hard time accepting that she's gone. A commercial realtor, he wants Joe to join him in the business. He also uses profanity.
  • SUSAN SARANDON plays his writer wife who deals with the loss in her own unique way (being irritated by outsiders' actions and words). She uses some strong profanity and briefly smokes.
  • ELLEN POMPEO plays the local post office manager and part time barmaid who befriends Joe. Still waiting for the return of her boyfriend who's been MIA in Vietnam for 3 years, she ends up sleeping with Joe. She also uses some profanity.
  • HOLLY HUNTER plays the local assistant D.A. who's trying to get the harshest sentence for Diana's murderer. She uses some profanity.
  • CAREENA MELIA plays the young woman who was murdered.


    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 look at the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 3 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some brief and non-explicit sexually related dialogue is present, while it's implied that a young couple has sex (after seeing them making out and partially disrobing, and then seeing them in bed the next morning).

    A young man and a husband and wife grieve over the murder (which isn't seen) of his fiancée/their daughter, and tense family scenes are prevalent throughout the film as they try to come to grips with that. Some bad attitudes are present, various characters drink and/or smoke, a dog briefly but graphically vomits and some phones are the recipients of angry outbursts.

    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.

  • People have drinks at a wake, including Joe who downs one really fast due to the pressure of the situation.
  • Ben comments on a print shop clerk looking stoned (we never see her).
  • People have Bloody Mary drinks at a convention.
  • Mike has a drink in front of him.
  • Various people drink in a bar.
  • A comment is made about a witness being pissed (drunk).
  • Some people drink in a bar.
  • JoJo pours herself another drink of straight liquor.
  • Mike pours wine for Joe, himself and his wife.
  • We see the family dog vomit (projectile style).
  • We hear but don't see that Diana was shot dead by a man who intended to kill his wife (instead, he wounded her, leaving her in a coma with two bullets in her head).
  • Some of Diana's friends come over just days after the funeral to go through her clothing and take what they want, and one of them lies to others about Joe being the one who's gotten her through her grief.
  • Mike's wife is disrespectful of Joe and his grief as she's surprised he's still involved in that.
  • As accompanied by a little ominous music, Joe imagines hearing Diana (who's dead) at his bedroom door at night and the door handle starts to move, but that turns out to be a dream.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "F*cked that up pretty good," "F*ck the perfume, give me the warts," "Look like sh*t," "(That's) Bullsh*t," "Oh, sh*t," "Who gives a sh*t," "Why do you give a sh*t?" "Tough sh*t," "You don't know d*ck," "Why the hell should I?" "Dirt bag," "Screwed up," "Pisses me off," "Bastards," "What the hell does that mean?" "Scares the hell out of me," "She is a bitch, isn't she?" "Pissed" (drunk), "Where the hell were you?" "You lucky bastard," "I do believe we're screwed" and "Screw" (nonsexual).
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of ominous music plays in one scene.
  • None.
  • At least 3 "f" words, 14 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), what sounded like 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t"), 11 hells, 6 asses (3 used with "hole"), 4 damns, 1 crap, 6 uses of "God," 4 each of "G-damn" and "Oh God," 3 each of "Christ" and "Jesus," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Jesus Christ," "My God" and "Oh Lord" as exclamations.
  • We see Joe in the shower, but due to the overhead shot, all we see are his head and shoulders.
  • We briefly see a couple making out (with the girl sitting on a car) and then later see another doing the same in a hallway.
  • JoJo jokingly says that Joe should remain celibate the rest of his life but that that's negotiable.
  • After seeing Bertie in the post office by herself, Joe is somewhat surprised and asks if she's all alone there. She playfully responds that she is and then asks, "Why? What did you have in mind?"
  • JoJo refers to one of Diana's friends as a tart and asks Joe if she's tried to jump him yet.
  • Bertie has Joe feel a scar on the inside of her lip and puts his finger there. The scene turns somewhat sensual and he seems ready to kiss her, but she suddenly says she has to pee and leaves.
  • Joe and Bertie passionately kiss. We then see them lie down on the sofa and then sit upright. He starts to undo his shirt, but she stops him and then removes her shirt (we see her bare back and the top of her chest) and they embrace (with her crying). We then see them in bed under the sheets (apparently after sex) and we see the tops of her bare breasts and his nude body down to his lower hips.
  • Bertie is upset with Joe about him being distant to her after they had sex (he's preoccupied with the court case). She says that she hadn't let a man touch her in three years and says she feels like a one-night stand.
  • We see Bertie's bare back in a bathtub.
  • JoJo tells Joe that she really misses cigarettes now and that "wonderful fog." She then asks if he ever smoked and he says no. She later smokes once.
  • Ben and Joe smoke cigars in celebration of a business deal, but both briefly cough while doing so.
  • Mike smokes once, as do various miscellaneous characters.
  • We see a funeral scene and it's for Ben and JoJo's murdered daughter. Throughout the film, they and her fiancé, Joe, try to deal with the loss (in various unique ways) as well as getting along with each other and getting on with their lives.
  • We hear but don't see that Diana was shot dead by a man who intended to kill his wife (instead, he wounded her, leaving her in a coma with two bullets in her head).
  • Ben and JoJo argue about how he deals with things and Joe later hears and sees them arguing, with Ben telling her not to fall apart on him now.
  • Dealing with the death of a loved one and eventually letting go of them.
  • Capital punishment.
  • Vietnam and those missing in action during the war there.
  • The injured wife of the murder suspect siding with him (and even seeming to hold no grudge against him).
  • We hear but don't see that Diana was shot dead by a man who intended to kill his wife (instead, he wounded her, leaving her in a coma with two bullets in her head).
  • Bertie's cat jumps on Nixon the dog's back that then yanks Joe around by its leash (but nothing bad comes of any of that).
  • We see that JoJo has torn the phone from the wall (but don't see the act).
  • Ben repeatedly smashes a phone receiver onto a desk.

  • Reviewed October 2, 2002 / Posted October 4, 2002

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