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GRACE AND FRANKIE Is an Excessive, Immoral Circus

Netflix

GRACE AND FRANKIE Is an Excessive, Immoral Circus

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Netflix comedy GRACE AND FRANKIE follows the story of two women who have always been strong rivals until everything falls apart when they learn both of their husbands are leaving them, for each other…

The series that started in 2015 finally came to an end with its seventh season, which released in May 2022. With over 20 different writers and over 30 directors, the Netflix series stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, and so many others.

Back with its final season, GRACE AND FRANKIE has more chaos and drama than ever. Right at the start, both ex-husbands Robert and Sol invited themselves to move in with their exes Grace and Frankie. If that wasn’t enough of a mess already, Grace’s new husband Nick gets arrested and the FBI also joins the party at the residence of Grace and Frankie. 

Frankie and Sol’s son Bud takes it upon himself to try and ease the situation with a nice family brunch. Unfortunately, it completely backfires and makes things even worse when different stories from the past are accidentally brought to light and the truth is found out. 

In the meantime, Grace and Frankie have also taken an absurd amount of stolen money from Nick’s apartment and have been hiding it from the FBI while also trying to figure out how to launder it. Switching to the work scene, sisters Brianna and Mallory are having major issues as Mallory is now CEO of the company that Brianna used to run. 

By this time, Nick has gotten out of jail by lying that he needs to take care of his sick wife. Nick moves to house arrest at Grace and Frankie’s residence, joining the circus of people and creating more drama.  

Robert and Sol are trying to catch a thief after a break-in, while Grace and Frankie get themselves into driving to Mexico to smuggle drugs for a friend. Bud is having a mid-life crisis when he realizes his job as a divorce lawyer is too depressing. He causes issues with his wife in the process, not knowing how to tell her the truth.

Coyote, Bud’s brother, is also running into his own issues as the people in the house are getting  in the way of his elaborate plans. The fights surrounding work grow to an extreme with Brianna and Mallory until the fights become physical. Robert starts experiencing memory loss, Grace encounters mental health roadblocks, and Frankie believes she is about to die after hearing from a psychic.

It seems as if the family chaos and personal drama is never ending. Coyote falls back into old bad habits, Grace meets up with her estranged brother, and Frankie throws herself a funeral while she is still alive. All the while, Grace and Frankie have been trying to pitch their toilet creation to different investors.

There is so much going on that it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything. The biggest question is how will all of these issues be resolved? Do the families end on a good note together or is all of the drama too much to keep them close? 

GRACE AND FRANKIE has a predominately pagan worldview as there is use of magic and spiritism, as well as sensual pleasures and material goods being a main goal in life. Characters want to die having lived a “life that looks good” and are also scared of death. There are different magical practices or rituals performed, as well as use of and belief in a psychic. One character charges and uses crystals too. While most of the series does not agree with a Biblical view, there are redeeming qualities of love, family, and forgiveness.

The series has excessive language with over 100 obscenities and over 40 profanities, not to mention some additional foul language. The only violence seen is some fist fighting/ hitting each other/ wrestling type of violence. There is one scene where nudes on a phone are mentioned and one is seen on a computer but it’s censored. A great deal of implied sexual content exists between sexual jokes or conversations, talk of penises, and even some kissing.

Drugs are mentioned often throughout the series, most often including marijuana. It is even smoked on screen a handful of times. Heroin is mentioned in addition to cocaine, mushrooms and some pharmaceutical drugs. Mention of one character smoking cigarettes at age 9 as well as one character using drugs to numb everything. Alcohol consumption is excessive with characters always drinking.

Miscellaneous immorality is prevalent with lying, stealing, and cheating all to extreme levels. Characters go behind the backs of their family members, friends, and spouses. A dysfunctional family is also portrayed heavily; as well as gambling, blackmailing, greed, and revenge. Homosexuality and divorce also play major roles.

Despite rather questionable content, the production was beautifully executed. The different settings are aesthetically pleasing, with excellent camera work and lighting as a cherry on top. The story seems to have a bit too much going on at once, resulting in a cluttered plot line. Regardless, the comedy of everything keeps viewers entertained throughout.  

However, due to the excessive worldview problems, language and strong sexually immoral content, Movieguide® finds GRACE AND FRANKIE to be too much for viewers.