Two Bits

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1

Occurring throughout one day, TWO BITS presents a loving relationship between a grandfather and his grandson. Set in 1933 Philadelphia, the Italian grandfather (Al Pacino) holds two bits, or a quarter, in his hand and uses it to teach lessons about life to his 12-year-old grandson, Gennaro (Jerry Barone). The two bits represents the price of admission to La Paloma, a new air-conditioned movie house opening on August 26, 1933. The grandfather tells Gennaro that if he dies that day, the boy can have the two bits. Gennaro loves his grandfather, but he really wants the money too so he can go to La Paloma. He tries to earn the money during various chores for people, like delivering groceries. But he discovers no one really needs his help and money is scarce for them too. Near the day's end, Gennaro tells his grandfather, "I stopped needing two bits." A thoughtful film, TWO BITS charges the emotions with the endearing relationship between grandfather and grandson, and teaches the viewer some lessons as well. It could mean another Oscar for Pacino.

While the film's strong positive theme far outweighs its slightly objectionable elements, those deserve mentioning. There are no obscenities, and the crudities spoken are mostly hells and damns. However, it is unfortunate that seven profanities are expressed with two of them regular. The grandfather confesses to Gennaro that he had a brief affair when he was young, and sends his grandson to ask the woman for forgiveness. Also, an older woman makes sexual overtures towards the young Gennaro once. Violence is also subdued. When the church inadvertently schedules a wedding and funeral at the same time, the upset groom scuffles with the pallbearers. A little more disturbing is a scene where two boys come upon a woman hanging by a rope, and they flee. Viewers may think that the old man's view of God and heaven are a bit unusual, but nonetheless he is sincere in his beliefs. Except for the gratuitous crudities and profanities, however, these other incidents seem to be a legitimate part of the story. TWO BITS is a quality film with a positive theme, and viewers will leave the theater feeling uplifted.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey, Ph.D.
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 9, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 2, Exclamatory 5

Violence: Few times - Moderate (fist-fight, woman hangs herself)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman hints at sex to young boy; man confesses to sexual promiscuity in past)

Drugs: None

Other: Poor hungry woman steals food; unusual idea of God and heaven presented

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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