Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 8+
Jimmy Stewart + a 6' rabbit = a family delight.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is a gentle, consistently funny, and endearing story of a man who may or may not be crazy and his best friend, an invisible 6-foot 3 1/2-inch rabbit named Harvey. The movie raises the possibility that what defines "crazy" for one person may be the perfect definition of happiness for another. Wonderful acting, rich characters, and nonstop subtle humor will keep children and parents laughing. But there are a number of references to the possibility of alcoholism here and plenty of bar scenes and drinking.
- Families can talk about the relationship between Elwood P. Dowd and Harvey. Is Harvey real? Why is Elwood the only one who will admit to seeing him? Have you ever had an imaginary friend, or been able to imagine something that no one else seems to understand? When Veta and Myrtle Mae try to make Elwood go to Chumley Rest, do they do it out of love or cowardice? Why are misunderstood characters so popular in movies and books? What other characters like Elwood can you think of?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The main character is studiously pleasant, polite, and kind to every single being he encounters. Other characters are presented as jealous, dismissive, or controlling, but all are transformed by their contact with this gentle man and his invisible friend.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: Some wrestling of psychiatric patients into cells and a short but bloodless barroom brawl.
Sex: Nothing shown, but one character mistakenly concludes that she was going to be sexually assaulted by the orderly at the Sanitarium. Surreptitious romance between the orderly and the character's daughter ensues.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Main character may be alcoholic and spends a great deal of time in bars or making plans to be there. Others discuss alcoholism as the source of his problems, but he seems perfectly functional, and the other bar patrons are much more tolerant of the main character's quirks than his sober friends and family.