Drama


Life Itself


MPAA Rating:
R
Genre:
Drama
Runtime:
118 mins
Stars:
Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening
Director:
Dan Fogelman
Producer:
Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Aaron Ryder

Content at a Glance

4
Sex

Sex

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
on-screen acts of romance
2:
infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences
3:
inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5:
graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen
×
4
Language

Sex

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
on-screen acts of romance
2:
infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences
3:
inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5:
graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen
×
4
Violence

Violence

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
on-screen acts of romance
2:
infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5:
graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen
×
3
Drugs

Drugs

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
occasional drinking by secondary characters (i.e., man in bar)
2:
historically accurate use of alcohol and tobacco products
3:
continuous drinking and drug use common throughout
4-5:
drug/alcohol used many times by main character(s) shown in a positive light
×
0

Nudity

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
baby’s behind; shirtless men, low cut shirts, short skirts seen occasionally on women
2:
rear nudity that is not suggestive such as skinny dipping from a distance; cleavage
3:
sexually suggestive and revealing clothing or underwear is common throughout
4-5:
frontal nudity
×
0

Other

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

Lead characters that exhibit disrespect for authority, lying, cheating, stealing, illegal activity, witchcraft or sorcery

0:
none
1:
mild-moderate with consequences
2:
moderate poor behavior
3:
moderate-heavy behavior with no consequences
4-5:
extreme portrayals, condoned or excused
×

Sex


scenes showing intimate touching in bed, but no overt sexuality; couples kiss; man makes a joke about masturbation; references to past sexual violence; a pregnancy scare involving a teen

Language


many curse words, including; "f***?/"f***face" (as a name), "s***", "d**k", "d***/?gd", "bi***"; several spanish curse words

Violence


an accident involving a bus hitting someone is replayed several times throughout, including bloody aftermath; a prominent character shockingly commits suicide by gun, with some blood afterward; a fight between two girls breaks out; a sexual predator is shot in the leg as punishment.

Drugs


cigarettes and marijuana are smoked; social drinking at parties; man drinks excessively as a result of trauma; man offers another xanax

Nudity


No Information

Other


No Information


Trailer



Synopsis

As a young New York couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.


Movie Message

Life itself. The word "life" alone musters up a mosaic beyond comprehension: stories, characters, the beginnings and ends of lives and their intersections. The vastness of it all leads, as well, to vagueness, it takes on so many grandiose shapes and forms. With this in mind, writer-director Dan Fogelman and the producers of NBC's This Is Us should feel right at home, and because of life's great mystery, it's a wonder that they even tried to tackle it.

Working from his own script, Fogelman demonstrates an understanding of the rigor and surprise of life, but it does not translate in his words and in his overall storytelling. There are moments that are meant to be humorous: a rather left-fielded narration from Samuel L. Jackson, the intensity and dry humor of one of the protagonists, Will (Oscar Isaac). Still, nothing falls into place. It is as if the filmmakers were trying to force in laughs at the beginning of the film to compensate for the weighty drama to follow in the next two acts.

In the end, everything connects relatively well. For once, as a filmgoer, I did not care for the journey, not even that of these lives. With such an exquisite cast to work with, LIfe Itself is anxiety-inducing, trying to silence the fears of living life to the fullest and instead tears open a world of possibilities of what could go wrong.

Life Itself, I feared, would veer too deeply into sentimentality; but in fact, the film is not sentimental enough. WIth strong adult themes to consider, Life Itself is not awarded our Dove approval.

The Dove Take

Nothing feels sacred or valued, making the journey of life unbearable to watch.

© The Dove Foundation – All Rights Reserved.




Movie Monitor

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