Spoiler Alert parents guide

Spoiler Alert Parent Guide

Occasionally a bit syrupy, the film usually stays on the "sweet but sad" side of the line.

Overall B-

Theaters: Michael and Kit have a rom-com worthy relationship, until Kit is diagnosed with terminal cancer and their story quickly becomes a tragedy.

Release date December 9, 2022

Violence A
Sexual Content C
Profanity B-
Substance Use C

Why is Spoiler Alert rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Spoiler Alert PG-13 for sexual content, drug use and thematic elements.

Run Time: 112 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Although he’s living a variation of his childhood dream, Michael Ausiello (Jim Parsons) isn’t as happy as he expects. He has a job as an entertainment journalist for TV Guide, which is exactly what he wanted, but that’s also just about all he’s got - apart from a disturbingly large collection of Smurf merchandise.

Everything changes when he meets Kit (Ben Aldridge) a handsome, caring photographer. Despite their differing interests and personalities, the two quickly fall for one another – fall hard enough that Kit can even look past the insane Smurf collection. But the only constant in life is change, and the couple soon find themselves pulled in different directions by their contrasting personalities. When Kit finds a growth, however, his diagnosis gives both men a different perspective on their relationship, and exactly how much longer they’ll have to enjoy it.

I’ve never been entirely clear on the intended audience for these romantic cancer movies. Do you just like the dreadful reminder that everything and everyone you’ve ever loved is going to die at some point? Is that fun for you in some strange way? People give horror movie fans a hard time, but at the end of the day, the monster under the bed isn’t real. Cancer, on the other hand, keeps popping up uninvited.

I suppose Spoiler Alert is a cinematic indicator for how far LGBTQ+ rights have come. Time was any movie with gay characters was a story focused on a political or social theme. Now, audiences looking for a gay love story can get the same sappy, uncritical cancer weepies that straight filmmakers have been churning out for decades. So, in a weird way, I guess this is a win for equality?

The film’s pacing has some real starts and stops, but once the movie finds its stride it gets along just fine. It dips a few toes over the line into outright syrupy, but for the most part exercises some restraint and stays on the sad but sweet side of the line. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Jim Parsons, but he turns in a remarkably touching performance as Michael, even if Sally Field steals every scene she’s in in her role as Kit’s dynamic mother, Marilyn. Family audiences will want to watch out for a couple of steamier romance scenes between the doomed couple, but there’s very little else to worry about. There are a few scenes of marijuana use, but frankly, I think if you’ve got terminal cancer, you can be on just about everything but roller skates.

Look, if you get your holiday jollies by sobbing in a theater because of the intractably transient nature of human relationships and existence, more power to you. You’ll have a lovely time in this perfectly tragic movie. The rest of us, however, might prefer not to spend our time making ourselves sad on purpose. Speaking for myself, I’m perfectly capable of making myself sad for free in the comfort of my own home – without paying admission or listening to other audience members sniffle as they sob.

Directed by Michael Showalter. Starring Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge, Josh Pais. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release December 9, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert
Rating & Content Info

Why is Spoiler Alert rated PG-13? Spoiler Alert is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content, drug use and thematic elements.

Violence: None.
Sexual Content: Two men are seen undressing and kissing passionately. There is a scene of sexual activity between two men without graphic detail but with a lot of moaning.
Profanity: There are occasional uses of mild curses and terms of deity, and a single scatological profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially and smoking marijuana.

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Spoiler Alert Parents' Guide

Do you enjoy “weepy” romantic films? What’s the attraction? What appeals to you about the relationships depicted in the movies?

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Other cancer tragedies can be seen in All My Life, Our Friend, The Fault in Our Stars, 50/50, Beginners, Life in a Year, and My Life. Director Michael Showalter seems to have a thing for romance in hospitals, because he also directed The Big Sick.