The Grombergs represent three generations of a dysfunctional family. They are so open-minded that their children are out of control. Twenty-one-year-old Asher Gromberg (played by Cameron Douglas) skips class and sells marijuana, has sexual experiences with various girls, and gets arrested by the police. And, the parents discuss what they did wrong.
What they did wrong is that they have all the mean spiritedness of sinful human beings plus the created-in-God’s-image emotional moments, but none of the fortitude of the Jewish faith to which they apparently belong, and which would allow them to bring up their children properly. In spite of their failure as parents, Alex Gromberg (played by Michael Douglas) wants to run for elected office, forgetting that the Bible says that if you can’t manage your own family, how can you run for public office?
In this slice of life movie about a family that nobody would want for neighbors, Mitchell Gromberg (played by Kirk Douglas), the patriarch, is mean to his son, Alex, and Alex bends over backwards for his sons, Asher and Eli (played by Rory Culkin). Both approaches to childrearing fail, and although there is death and reconciliation by the end of the movie, these characters have no clear vision for their lives. Asher is an out of control drug pusher; Eli is looking for his first sexual experiences; Alex volunteers at a soup kitchen and starts fornicating with a woman until a street-person interrupts them; and, it would be hard to describe how foul mouthed these people are.
They talk about character, but do not exhibit it. They create the wrong impression of what life is like at every turn. Watching IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY, one thinks of the impact films have overseas, where movies have become the primary ambassadors for the United States. If the Muslim nations ever wanted a reason to think of our country as immoral and out of control, this movie will give it to them. If children ever wanted a reason to indulge in sex, drugs, and rock and roll, this movie will give it to them. However, it has a sweet ending, and there will be many who like the ending so much that they ignore how really immoral this movie really is.
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Alex Yemenidjian, CEO
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Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
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Phone: (818) 560-1000
(PaPaPa, B, FR, LLL, VV, SS, NN, AA, DDD, MM) Pagan worldview with some positive Jewish content, but also lots of "anything goes" sex, drugs, false ideas from Eastern religion, licentious attitudes by all involved, and blasphemy; 47 obscenities and 23 profanities and discussions of sex including boy asks about "69"; violence includes boy slices girl's face with switchblade, police tear up apartment looking for drugs, boy beaten up, dead body set on fire, boy kicks older boy in groin, old man gets hit by joggers and falls on jogging path; constant sexual discussions and situations, including man and woman start to fornicate in church soup kitchen, boy and girl start to fornicate, another boy and girl fornicate (not shown, but the in bed together is), children look at Smutt Magazine and talk about oral sex, indications of masturbation; thong panties on girl, girl practically nude, and upper male nudity; alcohol abuse; heavy drug use with boy selling marijuana, boy smoking pot, police raid son's apartment where there is lots of drug paraphernalia and illegal drugs; and, tattoos, anger, meanness, and family dysfunction.