The Wonder Weeks Parent Guide
Negative content drags it down, but this film might appeal to frazzled parents who want to see their struggles reflected on the big screen.
Parent Movie Review
Motherhood isn’t easy for anyone. Anne (Sallie Harmsen) can’t seem to find a balance between micromanaging her newborn’s schedule while keeping up with her career as a family lawyer and maintaining her relationship with her husband, Barry (Soy Kroon). The situation is only made worse by the fact that she can’t seem to find an available day care, despite two full time incomes.
For Ilse (Yolanthe Cabau), motherhood is a tightrope walk between her Danish upbringing and standards and her Moroccan husband Sabri’s (Iliass Ojja) expectations with a newborn – and the expectations of his family.
Roos (Sarah Chronis) and her wife Kim (Katja Schuurman) have just given birth to their second child, fatheredd by Roos’ old friend Kaj (Louis Talpe). He has recently expressed an interest in being more involved in the lives of this child and the older one he also fathered, to Roos’ delight and Kim’s concerned disapprobation. As each of these women and their partners try to navigate the minefield of raising infants, they learn valuable lessons about love, compromise, and friendship.
Something tells me that I, a middle aged single white man, am not the target demographic for a movie about motherhood, but I’ll do my best to give it a fair shake. Since I’ve never planned on having kids, this movie feels more or less like a mystery to me. Since all of these parents seem to know that their child is slowly making them insane, I can’t for the life of me figure out why they wanted it in the first place – but watching them figure out how to balance the demands of their new life does have some entertainment value.
This movie isn’t geared around generating big dramatic meltdowns or pitting its characters against each other in open hostility. Really, it is a surprisingly nuanced depiction of parenting struggles, in which reasonable people who are willing to communicate with their partners have reasonable disagreements and conflicts and try to solve them as compassionately as possible. You can really tell this movie wasn’t made in North America. This is a Dutch production, and I watched it in Dutch with English subtitles – given the demographic appeal, I don’t think reading subtitles is going to be a real hardship, but Netflix has provided an English dub.
The Wonder Weeks is not exactly a thrilling ride, but it’s not excessively irritating either, and the film seems to care about the characters learning from their individual plights. The content, particularly the sexual references, make this a poor choice for younger viewers, but I think the slow parenting-focused plot would already have discouraged them. Unless you’re hoping for a sleep aid for your own newborn, this is a movie for adults – ideally, those who’ve got a few wee rugrats of their own.
Directed by Appie Boudellah ad Ara van de Rest. Starring Sallie Harmsen, Yolanthe Cabau, Louis Talpe. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release June 9, 2023. Updated June 9, 2023
The Wonder Weeks
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Wonder Weeks rated TV-MA? The Wonder Weeks is rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Violence: A baby boy is circumcised.
Sexual Content: Several male characters are seen or implied to be masturbating. In one instance, pornography is heard in the background. A lesbian relationship is part of the plot.
Profanity: There are two sexual expletives, ten scatological curses, and occasional uses of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are infrequently seen drinking socially.
Page last updated June 9, 2023
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My personal favorite film about parenting is Raising Arizona. For a comical look at the challenges of having kids you can watch Steve Martin in Father of the Bride Part II. Steve Martin also stars in the descriptively named Parenthood. In Dads, Bryce Dallas Howard interviews famous fathers to learn about their approaches to parenting. In a split-reality story, Look Both Ways follows a woman’s life with and without an unplanned pregnancy. With the unexpected death of her sister and brother-in-law, Helen suddenly finds herself raising three children and balancing her career in Raising Helen. A wayward mother grapples with balancing her dreams with her responsibility to the children she has neglected in Wild Rose. In Instant Family, a husband and wife decide to foster three children and wind up with more joy and frustration than they expected.