Abe parents guide

Abe Parent Guide

A sincere story, vulnerable actor, and gorgeous food are the ingredients for this satisfying family film.

Overall A-

Digital on Demand: Abe, a 12 year old from Brooklyn, tries to reconcile both sides of his family - one half Palestinian; the other Israeli - through food.

Release date June 1, 2020

Violence B+
Sexual Content A
Profanity C+
Substance Use C+

Why is Abe rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Abe Not Rated

Run Time: 85 minutes

Parent Movie Review

If you think your kin are hard to get along with, be glad you aren’t Abe (Noah Schnapp). For the 12 year old Brooklynite, family functions are a stew of feuding relatives, seasoned with explosive Middle Eastern geopolitics. Abe’s mother, Rebecca (Dagmara Dominczyk) is Israeli-American and his father, Amir (Arian Moayed) is Palestinian-American. Although Abe’s parents are atheists, his grandparents are devoted to their faiths – Judaism and Islam – and to their shared and hotly contested homeland. No wonder family dinners are hard to swallow.

Devoted to both sides of his family, Abe tries his best to please everyone while attempting to unite both religions in his own life. He talks to his Jewish grandfather (Mark Margolis) about having a bar mitzvah and he tries to fast for Ramadan to please his Muslim grandmother (Salem Murphy). Finally, Abe decides to cook a Thanksgiving dinner that will unite his fractious clan. Luckily, the teenager is an accomplished cook, and he pulls together a meal that unites foods, flavors, and traditions from the Middle East and the USA. But things don’t go as planned…

Abe is an engaging story, thanks primarily to the emotional vulnerability of Noah Schnapp in his leading role. Schnapp honestly portrays Abe’s struggle to figure out his identity: is he Jewish? Muslim? Neither? Can he be both at the same time? And Schnapp’s expressive face fills with anguish as Abe’s relatives bicker with each other and squabble over his future. The most important lesson this movie teaches is aimed directly at parents - when adults fight, they inflict emotional wounds on the innocent bystanders in their homes.

Youthful viewers will find plenty of positive themes in Abe. Developing your talents, reflecting on your values, trying to understand different perspectives, working hard to reach a goal – all of these get screen time in the film. The downside is that the movie features Abe lying to his parents so he can work in a restaurant instead of going to camp. He also runs away from home, which is not a coping strategy parents want their kids to emulate. About a dozen profanities spice up the dialogue, but this is a minor issue compared to the positive messages that are baked into the storyline. It’s not rated, but it falls on the high end of a PG rating and is definitely suitable for older kids, tweens and teens.

When Abe puts together his Thanksgiving dinner, he attempts to blend all five flavors – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. Adding a mix of textures and colors and cultural origins allows him to come up with a mouthwatering Thanksgiving feast. Director Fernand Grostein Andrade has done the same thing with Abe. The film is sweet and sad, depressing and hopeful, thoughtful and funny, and consistently lovely to look at (it’s full of close-up shots delicious food). Best of all, it leaves us with lots to chew on even after the credits roll.

Directed by Fernand Grostein Andrade. Starring Noah Schnapp, Seu Jorge, Arian Moayed, Dagmara Dominczyk. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release June 1, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Abe

Abe
Rating & Content Info

Why is Abe rated Not Rated? Abe is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: There are several scenes of characters arguing, sometimes with raised voices.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: There are a dozen profanities in the movie, half of which are scatological curses. There is one sexual expletive (and another briefly seen on a sign), two terms of deity, and a couple of mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink wine with meals; a teenager is given wine with traditional Jewish Sabbath meals.

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Abe Parents' Guide

Abe’s family is caught up in one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. To understand the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, click on these links:

Vox: Everything you need to know about Israel-Palestine

History Central: A Quick Summary of the Arab Israeli Conflict

Abe dreams of becoming a chef and works hard to achieve his goal. What do you dream about doing in the future? What are you prepared to do to make that dream a reality?

 

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Teens who want to bake their own treats can check out Robin Donovan’s The Baking Cookbook for Teens: 75 Delicious Recipes for Sweet and Savory Treats.

Megan, Jill, and Julie Carle encourage culinary independence for adolescents in Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Abe movie is April 17, 2020. Here are some details…

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