Australian Council on Children and the Media

Are we done yet?

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 11 (Disturbing scenes, Themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Are we done yet?
  • a review of Are we done yet? completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 April 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to themes of family breakdown & disturbing scenes of accidental harm.
Children aged 8-11 Parental guidance due to themes of teenage rebellion and family breakdown.
Children over the age of 11 Children of this age should be able to see the film without parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Are we done yet?
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, mild coarse language
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Nick Persons (Ice Cube) finds his small bachelor city apartment a little on the cramped side when his new wife Suzanne (Nia Long) and two step children Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Phillip Bolden) move in. When Suzanne announces that she is pregnant, Nick decides that its time to move to the country and buy a bigger house. Nick buys a picturesque but rundown nineteenth century mansion in a quiet country town from an overly enthusiastic real estate agent named Chuck Mitchell Jr. (John C. McGinley)
Nick sets out to restore his dream house but, after a number of mishaps, finally admits defeat and calls in the local contractor who turns out to be Chuck Mitchell. The extensive renovations require Chuck’s constant attention, eventually leading to Chuck all but moving in with Nick and his family. Beginning to resent Chuck’s involvement with his family, Nick fires him and his entire team of workers and puts the house up for sale.
After a family breakdown, Suzanne and the children leave. Time alone in the house allows Nick to reflect upon recent events and re-evaluate his priorities in life.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Blended families, family breakdown, teenage rebellion

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Are we done yet? contains some slapstick cartoon-like violence with little harm caused. There are also many scenes of accidents which in real life could cause serious injury but which are not seen to cause harm. Examples of violence include:

  • Nick chases Chuck with a piece of wood in a threatening manner. Chuck sweeps Nick’s feet from under him and then jumps on top of him stabbing him between the legs in a threatening manner: no one is hurt.
  • While fishing, Kevin is pulled into a lake by a giant fish. Nick jumps in after Kevin and wrestles with the giant fish.
  • A man slaps his younger brother across the head.
  • Nick faints when he looks between his wife’s legs as she is about to give birth. Hot chilli sauce is then poured onto Nick’s face to revive him.    
  • Nick has food thrown over him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • A giant fish behaves in a threatening manner.
  • A deer growls like a grisly bear.
  • An owl swoops down grabs and carries off a small squirrel sitting on Nick’s hand.
  • A bird is accidentally shot by a nailgun. 
  • The film’s opening credits included cartoon images of a man being electrocuted, falling off ladders, falling through floors, being attacked by animals etc.
  • Nick crashes through a bathroom door.
  • Nick burns his hand on an oven door.
  • A child is thrown through the air when a swing that he is playing on breaks.
  • A doorknob that comes off is thrown into the air with a cat screaming in the background.
  • Nick falls from the roof of a house to land in the garden.
  • A chandelier falls from a ceiling narrowly missing several people.
  • Nick is electrocuted and falls down.
  • Nick falls through the roof of the house. 
  • Nick capsizes a boat and is scared by a giant fish.
  • Nick is chased by bats that come out of a chimney.
  • Nick runs into a glass door and falls to the ground.
  • Nick hits his thumb with a hammer.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over eight are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over thirteen are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • A thirteen year old girl owns a mobile phone, is seen using it and is also seen in a state of panic as a result of being denied the use of her phone.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • When Suzanne tells Nick she is pregnant he responds with “By whom?”
  • Teenage children talk about fish giving birth to baby fish.
  • Nick and Suzanne talk about how there are lots of rooms in their new house that are in need of being “broken in”
  • A reference is made to “nice booty”; while the connotation was sexual the true meaning was in reference to plastic footwear.
  • A reference is made to “coupling is participation.”
  • When Nick chases off a squirrel eating nuts, stating that it “shouldn’t mess with a man’s nuts.”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Suzanne is depicted in a number of scenes wearing low cut tops exposing her cleavage.
  • Nick and Suzanne are seen in bed, with Suzanne wearing low cut tops
  • On a couple of occasions Chuck places his ear next to Suzanne’s stomach to listen to her unborn babies.
  • 13-year old girl (Lindsey) sneaks off to a party and dances with a young man with their arms wrapped around each other.  They also hug later.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Nick is drinking beer in a bar when he finds out that his wife is having twins. He quickly drinks a couple of shots of vodka.

Coarse language

There is some very occasional low level coarse language and also putdowns in this movie, including:

  • “O my God”, “Sucker”, “He’s an idiot”, “Get out of my face”, “I wouldn’t be stuck in this house if it wasn’t for you and those ungrateful kids”, “Ignorant mut”. 

In a nutshell

Are we done yet? is a slapstick family comedy with little really clever humour but which will be enjoyed by preteens and teenagers.

The main messages from this movie are that:

  • Family and friends are what is really important in life.
  • A house is not necessarily a home but has to be made into one.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include that we should be careful when assessing someone’s character, as with Nick’s assessment and re-assessment of Chuck Mitchell.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Lindsey’s attitude towards boys and how this attitude could result in dangerous real life consequences.
  • The manner in which the film presents Lindsey’s defiant and at times selfish and thoughtless attitude as “cool” and acceptable.
  • Family breakdown and resolution.

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