Press Play

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Short takes

Not suitable under 11; parental guidance to 13 (themes, language, use of substances)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Press Play
  • a review of Press Play completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 August 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 11 Not suitable due to themes, language and use of substances.
Children aged 11–13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, language and use of substances.
Children over the age of 13 Ok for this age group.

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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Press Play
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, drug use and coarse language
Length: 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When Laura (Clara Rugaard) finally goes out with Harrison (Lewis Pullman), after much encouragement from her best friend Chloe (Lyrica Okano), she doesn’t realise how much she will soon come to care for him and how their meeting will impact her life. As they spend time together and the relationship blossoms, the couple begin making a mix tape of meaningful songs but before the tape is finished, Harrison is killed and Laura is left to go on without him. In her grief, Laura leaves the mix tape at the store where the two met and tries to move on with her life but, four years later, the tape is given back to her. The moment she presses play, Laura is taken back in time to the moment she and Harrison first heard the song, and she is taken back in time to him. However, this gift is fleeting for it only lasts the length of the song. As Laura tries to convince Harrison that she isn’t crazy, that she is from the future and that he will die, she is doing everything she can to help prevent the inevitable from happening. The problem is that none of the warnings work and with time running out Laura will have to choose whether she will spend their last moments together hatching another plan or whether she will simply be in the moment with the love of her life. Unless there is another way...


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.

Death of a loved one; Grief; The impact of our choices; Time travel.

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 some violence in this movie, including:

  • Harrison is shown looking at the speeding car that takes his life seconds before he is hit. The impact is not shown.
  • In alternative events Harrison is said to have fallen off a rocky cliff top; been killed in a crash with his father; and electrocuted.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Sony Walkman
  • Apple laptop
  • Coke is mentioned by name but not shown.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Laura and Harrison kiss passionately on multiple occasions.
  • Laura leaves the bed of a random guy after having a one-night stand. He sits up in bed with a bare torso and asks for her number but she dismisses him.

Use of substances

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

  • There is drinking at a party and patrons drink at a gallery exhibition.
  • One character smokes what may be marijuana and there is reference to the drug, Ecstasy.
  • Guests sip champagne at a wedding and it looks like Laura may have had a bit too much to drink.
  • Harrison was killed by a drunk driver.
  • A man offers Laura a Rum and Coke, which she accepts.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Asshole
  • Shit.

In a nutshell

Press Play is a romantic drama that is well cast, though we never really get to know the characters. The film has a highly improbable plot that is set against a beautiful Hawaiian backdrop. Due largely to the themes, this is not a family film but one that is best suited to teen and older audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that music has the power to take you back to specific moments in your life (even if just through memory); that we never have enough time with the ones we love; and that there are some things in life that we simply can’t control.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Loyalty
  • Persistence
  • Courage
  • Love
  • Trust.

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

  • Trying to control things that are beyond us.
  • Holding on to the past and refusing to live in the present.
  • The inability to cope with profound grief and the impact this can have on not just one person but many.
  • Using negative or destructive behaviours to deal with personal pain.