Fair Play Parent Guide
Long, slow, and overstuffed with profanity and crude sexual content, this wannabe psychodrama isn't worth watching.
Parent Movie Review
A corporate non-fraternization policy poses a serious problem for Emily (Phoebe Dynevor) and Luke (Alden Ehrenreich). The finance professionals are newly engaged but must keep their relationship secret lest they be fired. Their charade of mutual indifference works until Emily gets the promotion that Luke was expecting. When ambition and affection collide, the results can get messy…
When I say “messy”, I don’t mean a few little tiffs and some hurt feelings. Luke’s underlying misogyny comes to the fore and he suspects that Emily traded sexual favors for the promotion. Unwilling to admit her professional skill, he starts undermining her at work and at home, attacking her self-confidence and her reputation. His barely smothered entitlement is expressed in passive-aggressive behavior and erupts in a chilling scene of violence.
There is nothing subtle about this movie. It is clearly a cry against cultural misogyny – rumors about Emily’s sexual behavior fly through the office as soon as her promotion is announced. Male entitlement is so wired into her mind that Emily repeatedly apologizes to Luke for getting the promotion and devotes herself to boosting his career, even at a cost to her own.
The critique of Wall Street firms is even less subtle. In one particularly cringeworthy scene, Luke literally kneels before a corporate executive begging for promotion and pledging his loyalty. He recalls meeting the executive years ago and remaking himself in his image, and then claims the executive has become his “god”. With Luke’s focus firmly set on serving his corporate idol, it’s no wonder he can’t manage a healthy relationship with his fiancée.
This movie’s themes are painful and, sadly, so is the execution. This is a long, slow, irksome viewing experience. The characters are unlikable, the plot unsurprising (except for a startling scene at the end), and the negative content overwhelming. There is frequent, detailed sexual content, including a sexual assault and coarse discussions of sexual activity, some in explicit detail. Profanity is omnipresent, with 175 sexual expletives alone. On average, there are two curse words a minute and some characters’ dialogue seems to consist solely of profanity and crude sexual comments. Add in regular smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, and this movie clearly deserves its Restricted rating. I’ve given it a “D” for “dreadful”, but I don’t think that option is available to the Motion Picture Association, so I guess the “R” will have to do.Directed by Chloe Domont. Starring Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release October 6, 2023. Updated October 7, 2023
Watch the trailer for Fair Play
Rating & Content Info
Why is Fair Play rated R? Fair Play is rated R by the MPAA for pervasive language, sexual content, some nudity, and sexual violence.
Violence: A woman is sexually assaulted and is later seen with bruises on her face, arm, and chest after having her head repeatedly slammed into a counter during the rape. A character stabs another one in the arm and blood is seen dripping on to the floor.
Sexual Content: There are frequent scenes of a man and woman kissing passionately. A couple make out in a public washroom: he kisses her chest and thighs. A woman’s breast is briefly seen in a sexual context. Blood is seen on bedsheets. Men speculate about a woman trading sexual favors for promotion. A woman demands that her partner have sex with her. A man and woman make out in bed but do not have sex. Scantily dressed women pole dance: breasts are visible through sheer clothing. There’s mention of inadvertent incest. There are crude references to oral sex; one in explicit detail. Consensual sex turns into an assault when the woman withdraws her consent: there is no nudity but there is thrusting detail and the woman is bruised after the encounter.
Profanity: The script contains at least 175 sexual expletives (some in a sexual context), 15 scatological curses, 10 terms of deity, and numerous crude anatomical terms, including some that refer to male and female genitalia.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character smokes a cigarette. Adults drink alcohol at social events. An adult drinks alcohol out of the bottle. Main characters drink alcohol to excess and get very drunk.
Page last updated October 7, 2023
Fair Play Parents' Guide
Why does Emily apologize to Luke for getting the promotion? Why does she feel like she’s responsible for boosting his career? How does Luke respond to the promotion? How does he treat Emily? At the end of the movie, Luke says that he hasn’t behaved like his real self. Do you believe him? Who do you think his real self is? How does Emily change as a result of these events?