Pretentious like its characters, the film doesn’t give us much beyond the snapshot of their sad lives. Some ultimate redemption for someone would make up for a lot of the film’s depressing tone, but there is little to be found. These Smart People, witty and intelligent in their own minds, will continue to make their dumb decisions—while we, informed and enlightened ahead of time, can choose wisely not to watch.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Characters (including teenagers) shown consuming alcohol throughout the film:  out at dinner, at home at a bar. Chuck has a great affinity for marijuana. He is shown smoking it and talking Vanessa into smoking it as well. They hide this from her dad.
  • Language/Profanity:  A great deal of profane and vulgar language throughout the film, enough to be rated “R” on language alone.
  • Sex/Nudity:  The first time we meet Chuck he is laying on a copy machine photocopying his genitals (no nudity shown). Twice he is shown asleep with little or no clothes on with his backside exposed. Lawrence and Janet sleep together and we see them in bed together after the fact, then getting dressed (no explicit nudity). Some discussion about how Lawrence does not know how to use a condom, which leads to some predictable results. A sub-plot about Vanessa’s unreciprocated crush on Uncle Chuck runs through the film (acceptable in her mind because he is her father’s adopted brother and not blood-related). She gets drunk at a bar and kisses him, and is offended when Chuck understandably reacts badly. James is briefly shown in his dorm room having sex with his girlfriend, the two of them in their underwear.
  • Violence:  None to speak of. Lawrence falls off a fence.