Red Rover parents guide

Red Rover Parent Guide

Unlucky in love on Earth? Try Mars!

Overall C+

Digital on Demand: With no personal relationships to keep him on earth, lonesome geologist Damon applies for a one-way trip to Mars, hoping to make something of his life away from the Earth. With the help of a quirky local musician, Phoebe, he starts to appreciate more of the little things on his home planet.

Release date May 12, 2020

Violence B+
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

Why is Red Rover rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Red Rover Not Rated

Run Time: 95 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Hapless geologist Damon (Kristian Bruun) has a pretty sad life. Following a nasty breakup, he lives in the basement of the house he and his ex, Beatrice (Meghan Heffern) were leasing - right below her and her new boyfriend Mark (Morgan David Jones). If that weren’t depressing enough, he’s also out of a job. So when Damon sees an ad for a one-way trip to Mars, he pictures an opportunity to start life over. With the help of unusual local musician Phoebe (Cara Gee), Damon starts trying to put together an audition for an escape into space.

This film hasn’t yet been rated by the MPAA, but I can fairly confidently say that if it’s certified, it’s going to be an “R”. There isn’t any explicit sex or violence or drug use, but there are three dozen sexual expletives sprinkled throughout the film which may discourage some viewers and makes the film inappropriate for younger audiences.

But for older rom-com fans who aren’t bothered by profanity, Red Rover is a cute little offering. Damon is both hopeless and earnest enough to be eminently pitiable (which his character absolutely needs to be), and Phoebe is exuberant enough to keep the film from being an hour and half of raw depression. Both actors (Buun and Gee) put in solid work to keep their characters and relationship interesting.

Beyond the quality of the cast, what surprised me was how polished the film looks - little indie movies often have a pretty rough finish. Not so here, and I think less likely to be so going forward. The improvements in affordable digital video technology make it much easier to make something that looks like a big studio production with little more than some determination and a supply run to Best Buy. Where that illusion falls apart tends to be with scripts, but Red Rover’s natural-sounding dialogue and smooth pace mean that, apart from the Canadian setting (a dead giveaway for a smaller production), there is little to indicate that this wasn’t a larger release.

Red Rover plays true to type for a rom-com, and is largely completely predictable, but I don’t think people are watching When Harry Met Sally for the wild twists and turns. It’s not meant to be a thriller, and to an extent, that predictability makes the film somehow comforting. Knowing that there are no huge surprises ahead means you can just relax and zone out a little, although if you zone too far you might miss out on some of the nice little touches.

Directed by Shane Belcourt. Starring Kirtian Bruun, Cara Gee, and Meghan Heffern. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release May 12, 2020. Updated

Red Rover
Rating & Content Info

Why is Red Rover rated Not Rated? Red Rover is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: A person steps on an earring. Two people are involved in a fistfight, with one receiving a bloody nose.
Sexual Content: A couple is briefly shown having sex in front of a window with no graphic nudity. They can be heard having sex in several other scenes. A couple are shown kissing and undressing one another from the shoulders up. A woman is briefly seen in her underwear while changing.
Profanity: There are 36 uses of extreme profanity and 8 uses of scatological cursing. There are also occasional terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An individual is briefly shown drinking and appears intoxicated.

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Red Rover Parents' Guide

Would you ever be interested in going to another planet? What if that meant you couldn’t ever come home again? What do you think motivates people to sign up for one way tickets to space?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Another Canadian-made space story is Astronaut. This charming little film stars Richard Dreyfuss as a retired engineer who enters an online lottery to go into space.

Matt Damon stars as an astronaut accidentally abandoned on Mars in The Martian.

For those looking for that fun Canadian filmmaking vibe, Disappearance at Clifton Hill focuses on a strange disappearance, 25 years after the fact.

Another romantic comedy which just released is The Half of It, about the complicated relationship between a lovesick jock, the nerd he hires to write his love letters, and the object of both of their affections. A Netflix production, it is only available on that platform.