Australian Council on Children and the Media

Laws of Attraction

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Not recommended under 13 (Lang. Sex.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Laws of Attraction
  • a review of Laws of Attraction completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 19 July 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 While there is nothing scary or violent for parents to be concerned about, due to its content it is not recommended for children under 13.
Children aged 13-15 Children 13-15 would need parental guidance to view this movie.
Children over the age of 15 Children over 15 should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance depending on parentsu2019 assessment of the content.

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: Laws of Attraction
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references, Low level coarse language
Length 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Audrey Woods is a highly successful, divorce attorney who came first in her class at Yale. She has achieved this by focussing on her career, to the exclusion of forming any relationships with men. When she meets Daniel Lafferty, a self assured, laid back, divorce lawyer, she takes an immediate dislike to him. This increases when Rafferty wins the Harrison case, defending the husband of her client. However Lafferty quite likes Woods and goes out of his way to win her over. Audrey thinks she can manipulate Rafferty so she goes to his house to see him. They drink too much and end up in bed together much to Audrey’s disgust.

They again both represent another husband and wife, Serena and Thorne Jamison. Serena is an insecure dress designer, married to punk rocker Thorne. Serena wants her share of ‘Castle Rock’, an Irish castle the couple had bought in happier times. Lafferty and Woods both travel to Ireland to see the castle and while there, they attend a festival celebrating a local legend of the village. Again they both drink too much and end up in bed together, but this time find themselves with daisy chain rings on their wedding fingers and realise they must have unwittingly tied the knot.

Daniel is quite happy with this arrangement but Audrey is not so pleased. However for the sake of their careers, Audrey agrees to give it a go and ends up falling in love with Daniel. However when they discover that the marriage wasn’t in fact real they then have to decide whether they want to stay together. The two of them still have to battle over the Jamison divorce which turns out not quite as planned.

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.

There is no violence in this movie but Audrey’s mother is shown with very bruised eyes after using botox.

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.

There is nothing particularly scary in this movie.

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.

There is nothing particularly scary in this movie.

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.

There is nothing particularly scary 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.

There is nothing particularly scary in this movie.

Sexual references

There are several sexual references in this movie:

  • In the Harrison case Mrs Harrison is accused of needing treatment for sexual addiction
  • Audrey tells Rafferty that there’s no ‘psychoanalysis shortcut into her pants’.
  • Rafferty produces Audrey’s knickers in court with a statement written on them.
  • Audrey talks about the lawyers she’s banged.
  • Quite a bit of talk of cutting men’s balls off
  • Thorne is accused of going after whores and strippers
  • Thorne accuses Serena of ‘pumping’ the gardener

 

Nudity and sexual activity

  • Daniel and Audrey sleep together on a few occasions—nothing is actually shown.
  • Audrey walks in on Serena and Thorne having sex. Again nothing is actually shown.

Use of substances

  • There’s plenty of drinking in this movie with the consequence that Audrey has sex with Daniel without really wanting to. They also ‘get married’ without knowing it while very drunk.
  • Thorne says that Serena ‘may have been on drugs at that point’.

Coarse language

There is occasional use of the following:

  • bastard
  • arsehole
  • goddam
  • arse
  • bullshit

 

In a nutshell

The take home message is probably that drinking too much can make you do things you might regret.

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • manipulation of others
  • mean spiritedness
  • drinking excessively is fun

 

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