I Am Woman parents guide

I Am Woman Parent Guide

Not even fine acting can make this unremarkable musical biopic stand out in a crowded field.

Overall C

Digital on Demand: The true story of Helen Reddy and her struggle to make it in the male-dominated music scene in New York City in 1966.

Release date September 11, 2020

Violence B-
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is I Am Woman rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated I Am Woman Not Rated

Run Time: 116 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Twenty-four-year-old single mom Helen Reddy (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) has just arrived in New York with a three-year-old daughter and the promise of a job with Mercury Records. Her plans collapse when Mercury backs out of the agreement, and Helen finds herself living in a hotel and working in cheap bars and restaurants to make ends meet. With the help of her new friend, journalist Lilian Roxon (Danielle Macdonald), she starts to stabilize her life. And then she meets Jeff Wald (Evan Peters) – an aspiring talent manager with big dreams and a few connections. The two fall in love, move to L.A., and try to make those dreams come true for both of them…but things are never quite that easy, are they?

There’s been no shortage of music biopics in recent years, and it’s always hard to stand out in a saturated market. Despite strong messages about gender and the music industry, I Am Woman is more of the same. You can predict plot developments roughly half an hour in advance if you’re paying any amount of attention. It’s a testament to the cast that the movie remains interesting despite the complete absence of unexpected plot developments. The entirety of the main cast do a wonderful job, and Tilda Cobham-Hervey has an absurd amount of charm on screen.

This is not yet rated by the MPAA, but I can confidently tell you that they’d give it a solid “R” for profanity alone. There are just under 50 uses of a sexual expletive, which sets this pretty firmly outside the realm of “movies I’d show my grandmother”. The other serious concern is the extensive drug use. Jeff Wald (the real one, not Evan Peters) allegedly managed to work up to a $100,000 per year cocaine problem, and the film shows how his drug abuse destroys his relationships.

I Am Woman is pleasant enough that I wish there was a good audience for it: it’s not suitable for families, it’s not political enough for serious analysis, and it’s barely music-focused enough for music fans. I suppose that just leaves personal admirers of Helen Reddy, who I’m sure will have a wonderful time, but for everyone else there are better options. I enjoyed the film, in spite of its paint-by-numbers plot, but I can’t honestly recommend this to anyone looking for anything more than some nice tunes and a decent way to kill two hours.

Directed by Unjoo Moon. Starring Evan Peters, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and Danielle Macdonald. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release September 11, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for I Am Woman

I Am Woman
Rating & Content Info

Why is I Am Woman rated Not Rated? I Am Woman is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: There are scenes depicting pushing and shoving in a context of domestic violence. There is a fight which includes a man seizing a kitchen knife and threatening people.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 44 uses of extreme profanity, 19 scatological curses, frequent use of terms of deity, and occasional mild profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown drinking socially and smoking tobacco. Several scenes depict the use of marijuana and cocaine.

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I Am Woman Parents' Guide

What was the political climate around sex equality when Helen Reddy released “I Am Woman”? What effect did the song have? Have things changed in the decades since? What became of the Equal Rights Amendment?

Helen’s relationship with Jeff well, but things soured as Jeff became more and more involved with his career and drug use. What do you think the first sign of a problem was? Why did it take so long for the relationship to dissolve?

The record executives to whom Ms. Reddy pitched “I Am Woman” claimed it sounded angry and “man-hating”. What does this encounter tell us about gender discrimination?

 

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Obvious alternatives (which are more appropriate for family audiences) include the Judy Garland biopic Judy and the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Films about the quest for gender equality include On the Basis of Sex, Battle of the Sexes, and Suffragette.