America’s Sweethearts Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Eddie Thomas (John Cusack) are America’s Sweethearts. Having co-starred as each other’s love interest in several very successful romantic films, the celebrities are actually married in real life. Totally enthralled with their fairy tale existence, their fans don’t understand what has happened to the expected happily-ever-after ending when Gwen suddenly finds a new leading man for her personal life, and Eddie collapses with a nervous breakdown.
Their decision isn’t good business for the movie studio either. With his job hanging in the balance, publicist Lee Phillips (Billy Crystal) must convince the estranged pair to make an appearance at a press junket, which will hopefully improve the movie’s box office success. At the very least their presence will distract the invited reporters, helping the studio cover its other problem: director Hal Weidmann (Christopher Walken) has refused to let anyone see the finished film until it d0xE9buts before the journalists.
With no scruples to hinder him, Lee (who has an uncanny ability to manipulate any situation into a marketing angle) sets out to stage the reconciliation of the year, but will happily settle for anything that draws public attention. He enlists the help of Gwen’s assistant and sister Kiki (Julia Roberts), who secretly longs to see Eddie again, but knows her heart isn’t in getting her sibling’s marriage back together.
Full of profanities, derogatory racial and mental illness depictions, sexually derived jokes, a dog that licks private body parts, talk of masturbation and penis size, and portrayal of a separated married couple engaged in outside sexual relationships, this star studded ‘Hollywood look at how Hollywood looks’ comes across as phony and cardboard as the movie within the movie.
Perhaps in an attempt to capture some of tinseltown’s realism, the film features cameo appearances from many entertainment journalists (such as Larry King). Then again, there may be some sound marketing motives for their inclusion, as one can hardly criticize a film one has been paid to appear in. Whatever the method in America’s Sweethearts’ madness, it may be more than just family audiences who decide to junk-it.Starring Julia Roberts Catherine Zeta-Jones John Cusack Billy Crystal. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release August 20, 2001. Updated March 17, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is America’s Sweethearts rated PG-13? America’s Sweethearts is rated PG-13 by the MPAA language, and some crude and sexual humor
After the messy marital separation of two movie celebrities, their publicist anxiously tries to get them back together to promote the last film they starred in together. While nether of them are excited about the prospect, both try to put on a brave public face, but the truth keeps showing through, as does numerous profanities and abundant sexual content.
All depictions are played for comedy: Angry man smashes telephone, character mutters threats in response to Larry King’s public harassment, character drives motorcycle through large window and the shattered glass falls on people, on several occasions a female character discusses her fear that a male character is trying to kill her, large dog growls at window washer and knocks him off of a ladder, dog presumably bites man although it is not shown, dog growls at another man on at least two occasions, talk of suicide as a reaction to infidelity and as a means of increasing publicity and marketability of a film, on several occasions a man yells and throws things in anger, distraught character drops tray, in a depicted fantasy a man with a gun shoots a woman several times, brawl erupts between two male characters involving throwing water, stuffing food into the opponent’s mouth, and using a serving tray to hit a man in the face, golf ball hits man’s head, man on roof gets knocked down, slides, and almost falls off.
Sexual Content: D+
Three scenes where a man and woman kiss, woman wearing a bra is shown, female character seductively touches a man’s face, woman eats dinner in a sensual manner, characters frequently kiss when greeting one another, unmarried man and married woman kiss then hug in a sexually suggestive manner, woman rubs man’s chest then puts her leg between the man’s clothed legs and caresses his rear end with her foot, couple exchange mild sexual banter and then sensually kiss, sexual joke arises from dog licking man’s clothed lap, man’s initial fear of dog changes to directing the dog where to lick (“a little to the left”), man peers through a fence to look at female character, man falls into cactus plant and gets cactus needles in his clothed groin area, man groaning while removing needles is mistaken for masturbating and several sexual jokes result, character claims that everyone masturbates, female character crawls into her sister’s bed and uses appropriate sibling affection to persuade her sister to run an errand for her, passionate kiss between married man and unmarried woman, joke made about three partner sex, woman shown in bubble bath filled tub which exposes her shoulders and leg while her sister massages her neck, unmarried couple presumably have sex although only a kiss is shown, woman complains that party goers are “getting drunk and starting to touch,” woman dressed in skimpy dance costume imitates lap dancing while a man fondles her rear end, lengthy discussion and jokes about penis size, married man and unmarried woman kiss, man confronting angry dog jokingly apologizes for not calling.
At least: 1 extreme, 26 moderate, and 8 mild profanities. Also 15 sexual slang terms, 1 sexual gesture, 2 rude phrases, 6 incidents of name calling, and 8 terms of Deity used as expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C
Portrayal of smoking by background character, comment made about giving dog Prozac medication, character has many large containers of herb medications and opens one jar while commenting on the pills he is taking, character drinks herbal tea with sedative properties, alcohol consumption recommended for soothing nerves, jokes about using anti-depression or sedative drugs, 2 scenes depict characters social drinking in a bar, discouraged man drinks alcohol from a bottle.
Page last updated March 17, 2009
America’s Sweethearts Parents' Guide
There is an old expression that claims: “Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” When do the spectacles worn by Julia Roberts’ character disappear? Her character has also recently lost 60 pounds. How do the other people in the story treat her weight loss? What does that say about the importance of thinness?
Why have Eddie and Gwen experienced such a different reality than the one the public believes in? Where do fans get information about the personal lives of their favorite celebrities? Why is it so easy for outside observers to be fooled? Have the facts about a public figure ever come as a surprise to you? (Coincidentally enough the opening of America’s Sweethearts has come simultaneously with gossip columns’ announcements about Julia Roberts’ breakup of a four-year relationship with Benjamin Bratt.)