Family Movie Guide
This guide includes "family films," potential blockbusters, and movies that might interest young people. Only films with G ratings are tagged as all-family fare by Hollywood. Most have stronger MPAA ratings that call for extra alertness from parents. The Family Movie Guide and the Monitor's more-comprehensive Freeze Frames movie guide appear on alternate Fridays.Skip to next paragraph
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Star ratings from Monitor film critic David Sterritt precede the film credits. Those from a staff panel of at least three viewers follow the credits. Our ratings indicate the overall quality of movies, not their suitability for children.
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THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (PG)
*** Directed by Hugh Wilson. With Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Maggie Smith, Dan Hedaya, Marcia Gay Harden, Bronson Pinchot. Running time: 105 minutes. ***
PLOT Outraged that their husbands have left them for younger companions, three middle-aged women get together and plot revenge.
MESSAGE Women can fight sexism through solidarity and single-mindedness.
SEX None, but a sensual atmosphere in some scenes.
VIOLENCE A little comic fighting.
PROFANITY A few four-letter words.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL A few drinking scenes, and one main character is a problem drinker.
THE GRASS HARP (PG)
*** Directed by Charles Matthau. With Walter Matthau, Edward Furlong, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Nell Carter. Running time: 107 minutes.
PLOT A boy is raised in the South by his highly eccentric aunts and their feisty maid.
MESSAGE Eccentrics can teach us worthwhile lessons if we accept them as real and valuable individuals.
SEX, DRUGS/ALCOHOL None.
VIOLENCE A little comic fighting.
PROFANITY A few vulgarities.
TWELFTH NIGHT (PG)
*** Directed by Trevor Nunn. With Ben Kingsley, Helena Bonham Carter, Nigel Hawthorne, Imogen Stubbs. Running time: 125 minutes.
PLOT A young woman is separated from her twin brother in the mythical country of Illyria, and she disguises herself as a man to get a job as servant in the household of a countess who has sworn off men for seven years.
MESSAGE Relations between people of different genders, classes, and personalities can be amusingly complex, but all's well that ends well.
SEX Some innuendo.
VIOLENCE Some swordplay and other action material.
PROFANITY, DRUGS/ALCOHOL None.
THE ASSOCIATE (PG-13)
** Directed by Daniel Petrie. With Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Eli Wallach. Running time: 114 minutes.
PLOT A financial wheeler-dealer cooks up a fictitious male partner so traditional business types will take her one-woman firm more seriously.
MESSAGE Cleverness and deception can crack the traditional privileges of the male-dominated business world.
SEX A seduction scene played with comic exaggeration and considerable nudity in a scene set in a nude-dancing club.
VIOLENCE Some comic violence, including an explosion that blows up a car containing a skeleton.
PROFANITY Several four-letter words.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL Drinking, and the fictitious person's name is taken from a brand of whiskey.
LOOKING FOR RICHARD (PG-13)
** Directed by Al Pacino. With Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Kevin Spacey, Aidan Quinn, Estelle Parsons, James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Kevin Kline, John Gielgud. Running time: 109 minutes.
PLOT Scenes from Shakespeare's play "Richard III" alternate with real-life material about the challenge of making Shakespeare alive and fresh for contemporary audiences.