Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Talky, uneven "true story" comedy has sex, language.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lay the Favorite is an uneven, unappealing comedy based on a memoir about a woman who moves from stripping to working in the sports betting industry. Language is the strongest issue, with very frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," and other words. There's also a fair bit of sexual content: Viewers see two topless women, suggestive dancing, a woman flirting with a married man, and kissing (which leads to off-screen sex). There's some shouting and violent threats, but no actual violence.
- Families can talk about Lay the Favorite's sexual references. How does the main character feel about her past career as a stripper and working for a porn website? How do her attitudes toward sex change over the course of the story?
- Is Beth a role model? How does she change over the story? What does (and doesn't) she learn?
- According to Bruce Willis' character, is it more important to make more money or to live a fuller life? Why?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The main character pulls herself out of a bad situation and slowly starts to make more positive decisions for herself. In the end, she's able to solve a complex problem and help others.
Positive role models: The main character is ultimately a pretty positive role model, though she begins the story as a stripper and seems fairly ditzy for a while. Though she works in the (slightly illegal) gambling business, she eventually betters herself, takes the initiative, and begins to use her head. She ends the story in a much better place than she began it.
What to watch for
Violence: A few violent threats (with violent imagery), but no actual violence.
Sexy stuff: Two secondary female characters are shown sunbathing topless in one scene. The main character begins the film as a stripper and is shown performing suggestive dances (though not naked). She falls in love with and attempts to seduce a married man (holding hands, etc.). Later, she meets a single man and kisses him passionately. They move offscreen to a hotel room for sex. The main character references a porn website that she worked for.
Language: "F--k" is used fairly often, plus "s--t," "c--t," "bastard," "ass," "goddamn," and "scumbag," as well as "oh my God," "Jesus," and "Christ" (as exclamations).
Consumerism: The main character's Apple iPhone is shown fairly often but not referenced by name.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character sips a margarita in the opening scene. A secondary character drinks a huge gin and tonic after a tense argument.