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A Little Help | 2011 | R | - 7.4.6

After the death of her husband (Chris O'Donnell), a woman (Jenna Fischer) follows through with a series of lies concocted by her 12 year old son as both of them deal with disappointment and grief in different ways. Also with Kim Coates, Lesly Ann Warren and Rob Benedict. Directed by Michael J. Weithorn. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man is seen thrusting on top of a woman: his bare back is visible, the woman's dress is pulled up (no nudity is visible), and we hear the man panting and using crude sexual language directed at the woman.
 A woman wearing a low-cut negligee lies next to a shirtless man on a bed, she puts her hands on his bare chest, she kisses his face and then his bare chest; the man tries to resist, we see the woman's head move toward the man's crotch and it is implied that she performs oral sex on him (we hear him moan and tell the woman to stop and no nudity is evident).
 A man rubs a woman's back, he runs his hands through her hair and they kiss passionately; the woman pulls away and says, "We should get out of here," in reference to having sex. A man and a woman kiss. A man hugs a woman's waist and puts his head against her chest. A woman kisses a man on the top of the head after he tells her he is physically attracted to her.
 A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage and a man looks at her cleavage and tells the woman, "You look good."
 A woman tells a man that she had been performing a "sex act" on her husband when he had died. A woman shouts at a man, saying he no longer wants to have sex with her. A doctor asks a man if he had experienced heart pain during sexual intercourse and a woman tells the doctor that she and the man had not had sex in a long time. A man makes a crude remark that he would have sex with a famous teenage girl and another man jokes that the teenage girl would not allow the man to have sex with her. A woman tells a man that another man had "asked her out." A man tells a woman that he had "checked her out" when they were teenagers and that he was in love with her since childhood. A teenage boy makes a crude sexual joke to his father and his father jokes back. A man jokes to a woman that he has a pornography stash and jokes that it is not "kiddie porn" based on the cut-off age. A boy tells his mother that he had seen a girl's breast when her bathing suit came down, his mother remarks that it is interesting and the boy remarks that the girl was young, so it "wasn't much." A man remarks that the pattern teenage girl is creating with food is "vaginal." A man makes a crude joke about a woman having male genitalia. An older man jokes with his grandson about anatomical terms.
 We see a teen boy and a boy bare-chested in a swimming pool. A portion of a man's bare chest is visible during a doctor's examination. We see a boy's bare back while he gets a body painting.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man shouts in pain, we see his face covered in sweat and he collapses on the ground as a woman watches; we later find out that the man had died.
 A man chases a woman, he falls to the ground and begins to pant, we later see him in the hospital and he tells a doctor that he had heart palpitations. A woman falls on the ground and we later see her unharmed. A woman stumbles when she tries to stand at a sink. A woman drops some tools when surprised by a bird squawking.
 A man has to slam on brakes to avoid a car backing out of a driveway. A boy unbuckles his seatbelt and climbs into the backseat of a car, kicks his mother as she drives the car and shouts at her. A boy throws a phone at his mother; it does not hit her. A woman angrily slams a can against a countertop repeatedly. A man playfully throws a sandwich at a man.
 A woman shouts at her son, she shakes him by the shoulders, and the boy cries and runs away. A woman shouts at another woman, she slams a bowl on a table and shouts loudly. A woman screams at her son, he shouts back at her, and she storms away and slams a door. It is implied that a boy told his friends that his father had died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and his mother shouts that the boy cannot lie to people about how his father had died. An older woman shouts angrily at her adult daughter, she puts her finger in the woman's face and then storms away. A man shouts at his wife angrily. An older man shouts angrily at another man and slams his hand on a table. A woman shouts at her husband in front of people. A woman shouts at her mother. A girl shouts at her mother. On multiple occasions a boy shouts at his mother. A woman shouts at another woman and an older woman raises her voice at both women. A man shouts at a person over the telephone. A man interrupts a woman by shouting. A woman interrupts a young woman by shouting.
 A man tells a woman about the details of her husband's death, including that he had heart arrhythmia and that his heart rate had been elevated. A woman tells another woman that she is sorry to hear that her husband had died. A girl tells a boy that another boy's father had died on 9/11. An elderly woman tells another woman that her son had let her dog out of the yard to die. A woman tells a schoolroom of children that her husband had died while trying to rescue three people during 9/11. We hear a radio announcer discuss the disaster area of 9/11 and how the cleanup will take over a year. A woman tells another woman that a doctor had caused the death of a man by not investigating his family history when he went in for chest pains. A woman tells another woman that her son had told her that his father had died. An older woman tells a woman that her husband had died. A man tells a woman that his father had died earlier in the year. A man tells a woman his mother had died of lung cancer. A woman tells her son that she wants to kill a barking dog. A woman jokes that she would like to put a bird in a casserole. A doctor tells a man that he has anxiety issues. An older woman tells her daughter that her grandson is going to be "in trouble" if he does not transfer schools. A woman asks another woman why she is at work on the day of her husband's funeral; we later see the woman, her son and a group of people at the funeral. An older man tells a man that he had watched a fight on television. A man tells a woman that he had gone to a fight and seen a "guy bleeding from both ears." A woman jokes that a man was attracted to her "bloody smock" at work.
 We hear the sounds of urinating from a man off-screen, and a woman shouts at the man and closes the bathroom door. A woman tells a man that she has to urinate, but can "hold it" due to not being able to urinate often as a child. A man asks a woman if she has to urinate.


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LANGUAGE 6 - About 19 F-words and its derivatives, 17 sexual references, 14 scatological terms, 14 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, name-calling (liar, idiot, Columbo, spoiled brats, wise-[expletive], kid, terrible mother, monster, incompetent, overbearing witch, incoherent, disgraceful, bumbling, stupid, drunk, spoiled, self-indulgent teenager, scummy, fat, sassy, smartie), exclamations (shut up), a teenage boy sends his mother an instant message with "you s*ck" written over one hundred times, 6 religious profanities, 30 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A teenage boy is seen smoking what is implied to be marijuana from a pipe, on multiple occasions we see a man smoking a marijuana cigarette, a man shares a marijuana cigarette with a woman, we see a woman and a woman smoking a marijuana cigarette and they act intoxicated, a doctor asks a man if he uses drugs and the man says no, and a doctor prescribes Xanax to a man. A woman drinks rapidly a glass of vodka, a woman drinks a can of beer, we see several people drinking alcohol at a dinner party, a man tells a woman that she has had too much to drink when she opens a beer and accuses her of being a drunk, and an older man tells his adult daughter that a man had poured champagne on him. A woman smokes cigarettes throughout the film, and a boy finds a cigarette butt in an ashtray and shouts at a woman.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of a spouse, disappointment, sibling rivalry, lawsuits, inevitability, medical malpractice, dishonesty, grief, depression, 9/11, infidelity in a marriage, becoming your own person.

MESSAGE - Grief and disappointment are difficult emotions to work through.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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