Unhook the Stars

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

We all know moms like Mildred (Gena Rowlands) who refuse to let go when their children grow up. Mildred's rebellious daughter, Ann Margaret (Moira Kelly), lives at home when she's broke, but she can't stand her widowed mother. Nevertheless, Mildred tries to do everything for her. Then Monica (Marisa Tomei), a neighbor working two jobs and separated from her abusive husband, asks Mildred to keep her son, J.J. (Jake Lloyd), during the day. Six-year-old J.J. thrives as he gets a taste of good old-fashioned mothering from Mildred, and she feels needed again. Middle-class, traditional Mildred and filthy-mouthed, trashy Monica become good friends. Monica takes Mildred to her favorite bar hang-out one night where Mildred meets Tom (Gerard Depardieu), a Canadian truck driver. Mildred begins to lose her need to be so controlling, and soon bewildered Ann Margaret starts to respect her mother. The toughest ordeal for both Mildred and J.J., however, is Mildred's determination to let him go once his home life has stabilized. Unhook the Stars has moments of humor and a lot of warmth. It's a well-acted, feel-good story that will appeal mostly to women.

Monica's dirty mouth and frequent drinking underline her low-class lifestyle, but we would get "the picture" without them. She speaks most of the 54 obscenities, many times in front of her young son. But Ann Margaret spews out her share of "f-words" as well while talking to her mother. Monica also talks about sex several times, insisting on describing her relationship with her husband in a fairly graphic conversation with Mildred. Her pierced navel is exposed when she wears low-cut, tight jeans and skirts. In the bar, she wraps herself around one of the men and later leaves with him. It's disappointing that during Mildred's "night out" she gets drunk on vodka martinis. Later, she goes to the bar by herself out of loneliness and depression. Violence is limited to one incident of Monica's husband roughing her up. Monica loves her son very much and learns a lot about forgiveness and mothering from Mildred. Unfortunately, the foul language, excessive drinking and crude behavior in Unhook the Stars will likely turn off its targeted audience.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

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 4, Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (54) times - f-word 39, s-word 7, other 8

Profanity: Several (5) times - All regular (J 2, JC 1, G-d 1, G 1)

Violence: Once - Moderate (husband roughs up wife)

Sex: None; implied once when couple leaves bar together

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (woman talks about sex, dresses suggestively and seduces man in bar)

Drugs: Many times (heavy drinking in bars, at home)

Other: None

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Adult women

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