Second-hand wedding

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Not recommended under10, parental guidance 10-12 (Adult themes, lacks interest, coarse language

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Second-hand wedding
  • a review of Second-hand wedding completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 July 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Lacks interest and not recommended due to adult themes and coarse language
Children aged 10-12 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes and coarse language
Children over the age of 12 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: Second-hand wedding
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and infrequent coarse language
Length: 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jill Rose (Geraldine Brophy) and best friend Muffy (Tina Regtien) chase bargains at garage sales with Jill snapping up several bargains perfect for her daughter’s (Cheryl) future wedding. Meanwhile, Jill’s future son-in-law Stew (Ryan O Kane) has just popped the question to Cheryl (Holly Shanahan) and been happily accepted. But when the time comes to announce their engagement to her parents, Cheryl finds herself unable to tell Jill fearing her mother will turn the wedding reception into a “Second-Hand Wedding” showcasing Jill’s garage-sale bargains. To complicate matters further, Stew tells Cheryl’s father Brian (Patrick Wilson) of their engagement, but Brian is forbidden to tell Jill, placing Brian in the uncomfortable position of having to keep a secret from his wife Jill, who Brian has never kept secrets from before.

However, Gracie Clarefield (Vivien Bell), a long time work antagonist of Jill’s, learns of Cheryl’s engagement and tells Jill causing her to feel more hurt than ever in her life. Both Cheryl and Jill seem unable to put their differences aside until Brian suffers a nearly fatal heart-attack. Cheryl breaks down, telling her mother that she has landed herself into hot water by hiring a very expensive reception which she and Stew can’t afford.

Jill and Cheryl mend their torn relationship, with Jill taking over the planning of the wedding. Jill raised the funds by selling her treasures and the whole community pitches in for a perfect wedding


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.

keeping secrets, family relationships

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 are some violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  •  We hear the screeching of brakes and see a young man lying on the ground next to a car that has apparently just knocked him down; the man gets up and appears uninjured.
  • After being sexually harassed by an older man (over sixty), we see Jill grab hold of the man and shout out that she was being attacked. We see a second elderly man rush into the room and punch Jill’s alleged attacker in the face knocking the man to the ground. Later we see the same man with a black eye and bruised nose and face. 

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 eight, including the following:

  • Gracie tells Jill of her daughter’s wedding knowing that the information will cause Jill a great deal of emotional pain.
  • We see Jill emotionally upset telling her husband, Brian that he and Cheryl had hurt her and let her down.
  • In one of the film’s darker moments we see a surreal dream involving nightmare-like images of a very distressed Cheryl in a wedding dress at her reception being haunted and overwhelmed by unknown forces and voices. We see Cheryl wake up screaming and crying greatly distressed by her nightmare.     
  • One scene depicts Cheryl’s father Brian suffering a heart attack. Brian clutches at his arm before collapsing to the ground unconscious. Sometime later, we see Brian rouse and, in a semi conscious state, crawl to an oxygen cylinder where he sucks oxygen from an oxy-acetylene torch. In a following scene we hear a nurse telling Jill and Cheryl that Brian is in a serious condition with a shunt in his leg. Some time later we see Brian lying in a hospital bed with wires and tubes going into monitors. We see Cheryl crying on Stew’s shoulder.

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 are also likely to 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.

Younger children in this age group could be disturbed by the above scene.

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

No additional images.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • While at a garage sale, we hear a man making reference to a Balinese Lady, which we learn is a framed print of some sort. We hear Muffy state, “That boy really needs that Balinese Lady.” To which Jill responds, “I’ll tell you what that boy really needs, a girl friend.”
  • After Cheryl and Stew tell Cheryl’s parents that they had an announcement to make, Jill asked Cheryl. “You’re not pregnant are you?”
  • An elderly man (over sixty) after asking Jill to work for him, tells Jill that they would have the perfect working relationship and then pats Jill’s hand with his reference having sexual connotations. Jill tells the man that she would tell his wife that he made a pass at her, at which point the man becomes angry telling Jill that his wife wouldn’t believe her, and calls Jill a “Stupid Teacher”.      .
  • We hear a man talking about watching an episode of X-files making reference to an alien crawling up a man’s “Butt.”
  • In a comical, flirtatious manner a man innocently asks a woman if she would like to come back to his house and view his prints. 

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • After Stew proposes marriage to Cheryl and she accepts, Stew and Cheryl kiss each other passionately on the lips.
  • Two scenes depict Cheryl and Stew in bed. In one both are fully clothed, in the other Stew is depicted with bare shoulders

Use of substances

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

  • At a wedding reception waiters hold bottes of champagne and glasses of champagne on tables.

Coarse language

The film contains infrequent low-level coarse language and putdowns. Examples include:

  • “Parasite, idiot, yoghurt for brains, fool, hell, bloody second-hand, some bugger, bloody kids, sold a bloody thing, Jesus, he’s screwed, and I’ll be damned

In a nutshell

Second-Hand Wedding, targeted at an older adolescent and adult audience, is a slightly dark romantic comedy and social satire. While made in NZ, Second-Hand Wedding is full of quirky humour not unlike that seen in the 1990’s Australian film The Castle. The film is entertaining and touching in parts.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Rather than letting the fear of family embarrassment get the better of you, put your fears behind you and place trust in the people you love.

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

  • Selflessness: Stew, together with his work mates, supplied time and effort to restoring Brian’s vintage car in an attempt to raise Brian’s spirits after his heart attack. Jill sacrifices her entire collection of garage-sale bargains to raise the money to pay for Cheryl’s wedding reception, while Muffy supplied time and labour and the entire community chipped in by buying the Jill’s items and paying more than they were worth.
  • Love and devotion: Jill and Brian displayed love and devotion towards each other throughout the film. 

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

  • the harmful nature of emotional assault such as that enacted by Gracie against Jill and how the resulting depression affected Jill.