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Mistress America | 2015 | R | - 5.3.7

A college freshman (Lola Kirke) is disappointed with her life in a dorm. She tackles the doldrums by hanging out with her irrepressible older stepsister, a hard core New Yorker (Greta Gerwig) who lives in Times Square and manufactures misadventures for the pair. Also with Heather Lind, Cindy Cheung and Matthew Shear. Directed by Noah Baumbach. [1:24]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Covered to the waist in bed side-by-side, a college student reveals his bare chest and his girlfriend wears a thin-strapped clingy top that hugs the curves of her bosom and bares her arms and shoulders; angry, she tells him he is sexting to a female classmate and says that he should text a picture of his balls, and then that he should put something (the word is garbled) onto her genitals.
 A man and a woman at a house party kiss for several seconds while seated on a couch and someone takes a cell phone photo of them (we do not see the photo). In a scene at a gathering in a house, a woman removes a man's eyeglasses and kisses him; another woman sees the kiss and backs up a staircase. A man shouts at his wife, who is trying to hug him; he tells her to stop touching him and to get her face away from his face. A man kisses a woman on both cheeks (not his wife) and later tells her that his couples therapist told him to leave his wife and that the first woman "Looks hot"; they hug and she pushes him away after several seconds. A college woman develops a crush on a male classmate and they date once, but she sees him on campus with another woman.
 A few scenes show women wearing low-cut blouses, partially unbuttoned shirts, and clingy exercise tank tops that reveal cleavage and bare arms. Exercise spin-class participants (men and women) wear tight yoga pants with their exercise tops. A woman lifts her sweater up briefly to reveal her navel and then lowers her sweater.
 A woman jokingly tells a younger woman, "I want to marry you" when they like the same sweater in a closet. A woman tells another woman, "One guy [sexual reference deleted] all night." In a phone call, a woman tells a man, "I wish you'd come home so I could [oral sex reference deleted]." A woman says that she bets that her ex-fiancé is still in love with her. We hear that a man and a woman called off their marriage because of religious differences. A male college student tells a female classmate that he is in touch with his feminine side and that he wants someone to love, not someone to keep up with. A college woman tells everyone in a car trip that her last boyfriend committed adultery so she follows her current boyfriend wherever she goes. A 30-something woman says that at age 18 everyone should be touching each other all the time. A woman asks her boyfriend if he has a crush on a pregnant woman and he shouts, "She's seven months pregnant!"; she chases him and shouts, "Why do you know that?" as the scene ends. A woman says that she wants to concentrate on trying to have a baby instead of trying to start a new business. A woman asks a grumpy male neighbor complaining of noise if he is watching kiddie porn and he denies it. A woman calls across a house to her husband, "I'm blowing Harold! No, I'm kidding." A woman's boyfriend is out of town and breaks up with her by phone; she shouts and cries. A woman says that rapists, Christians, and homeschooled kids attend candle lighting ceremonies on a college campus and her roommate denies it. A woman asks a female writer how her story would be received by bombers of abortion clinics and mutilators of female genitals, stating that the story is sexist; the writer becomes angry and tearful as the scene ends.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A fight scene shows two stepsisters with exaggerated, grimacing faces and extremely loud screaming, and pointing, but no physical contact; one of the women becomes furious, screaming as loudly as she can and calling the other woman names as they both cry briefly.
 A woman wakes up in bed and screams several times in the dark as a male college student hits her in the face with a cream pie as an initiation ritual to a literary club, as several male and female students watch in the dark.
 A woman persuades friends to help her crash her ex-fiancé's mansion and a book club meeting of pregnant women (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) there and she demands a large sum of money from the homeowner and his wife for stealing her business ideas; men and women become drunk (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and begin arguing loudly, slurring a few words as they shout and call one another names.
 A woman confronts another woman sitting at a bar and says the other woman and a male friend used to touch her skin in high school, taste their fingers and say, "Yup, bitter!" Two women argue loudly about high school and one says, "I wish all bad things on you" as she stalks out. A woman shouts about her ex-fiancé marrying a woman who stole her fiancé, her cats, and her business ideas. A man and a woman play chess and argue about the game when the woman begins to win. A woman says that her female friend's attitude is as if she is dragging around her own dead carcass. We hear that a woman has bipolar disorder and that another woman died. A college student tells two friends that her uncle died. A woman breaks down into tears in her dorm room with her mother visiting. A college freshman applies to a literary society and is rejected.
 In the middle of the night in a college dorm, we hear a woman scream in the hallway and another woman opens a door and sees pies smashed along the corridor floor.
 A woman after a spin class says that she feels like she peed in her clothes, because she sweats so much. A woman falls down off-screen and we hear retching and vomit running, but do not see any vomit (please see the Substance Use category for more details).


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LANGUAGE 7 - About 27 F-words and its derivatives, 24 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid, lame, fat, weird strange, malevolent, slutty, skanky, sneaky, rotting carcass, leech, blood sucker), exclamations (shut-up), 2 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Holy [scatological term deleted], Oh God, My God, God).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman sitting on steps lights a bong carved from an apple and smokes what is likely marijuana as we see a puff of smoke, a man asks if everyone at a gathering wants to smoke marijuana and says that he has some of it frozen (we do not see it), a man asks if another man stole his marijuana and the second man says no (we see no marijuana), a man tells a woman that having a restaurant is like having a kid with a drug problem, and a man says that he needs his migraine pills (we never see them). A woman purchases alcohol for an 18-year-old girl several times (including whiskey, beer, and clear liquors) and serves her bourbon at home, an 18-year-old girl drinks bourbon in an apartment with the bottle sitting next to her on a side table, a young woman falls face down off -screen on a street and we hear her vomiting (we do not see it) as another woman asks if she gave her too much liquor, a bottle of wine is seen on a kitchen counter, about eight bottles of hard liquor sit in a corner of a kitchen counter, men and women dance in a bar and one woman holds a beer bottle while a few men and women drink from short cocktails, two women drink short glasses of wine in a cafe, a woman drinks a shot of liquor and her female friend drinks a mug of beer in a bar, men and women in a bar dance and some of the women and men carry short glasses of cocktails (no one is seen drinking), a few scenes in a house show men and women holding and drinking from glasses of wine, a man ours short glasses of whiskey for men and women three times and a few men and women drink, a woman says that she likes to drink, and a man tells a woman that he will prepare two screwdrivers (drinks) but we never see the drinks. A woman lights and smokes a cigarette in a taxi, and a woman smokes a cigarette in her home and on the street.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - College life, loneliness, blended families, stepsiblings, career planning, ambition, quest for recognition, psychic mediums, mental health issues, relationships, marriage, live-in boyfriends, friendship, love, respect, conflict, reconciliation.

MESSAGE - Women can learn from their failures and find business success.

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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