BOUNDARIES (2018)

"Unconvincing and Unacceptable"

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Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

BOUNDARIES is a comedy-drama about a woman and her teenage son who are forced to reunite with her estranged father to drive him to a new living situation three states away after he’s kicked out of his nursing home. Despite some sweet family moments, BOUNDARIES is not really convincing nor captivating and contains an unacceptable amount of objectionable content, including abundant foul language, strong drug use throughout, lots of lying, and some lewd moments.

Review:

BOUNDARIES is a comedy-drama about a divorced woman and her teenage son who are forced to reunite with her estranged father to drive him to a new living situation three states away after he’s kicked out of his nursing home.

Laura Jaconi has been seeing a therapist for a while because of how dysfunctional her life has become. She refuses to have contact with her father, her husband abandoned her, and her son, and she’s working for her snobby, rich “best friend.” She has a habit of taking in stray animals and has now come into the possession of almost 10 pets, each with their own special needs. After her son is kicked out of his school for drawing explicitly nude drawings of his teachers, she has to come up with huge sum of money to put him in an art school. Even though the last thing she wants to do is call her father, that appears to be her only option left. However, he informs her he’s being kicked out of his nursing home and needs a place to stay. Because he was never there for her growing up, Laura’s reluctant to do anything for him and hangs up on him.

However, the next morning, she finds herself at his nursing home just in time to pick him up. Now, Laura and her son are forced into the responsibility of driving her father, and his classic car, thousands of miles away to Los Angeles, where he will now be living with her sister.

Complicating matters for Laura is that her father, Jack, a former drug dealer, has made his own plans along the way. So, before they leave the nursing home, Jack shows Laura’s son, Henry, his massive garden full of marijuana plants he’s planning to sell on the road trip. Jack makes Henry promise not to tell his mother, with the promise that Henry can be his drug dealing partner and make some extra cash himself along the way. Henry hasn’t had a male role model in his life in years. He agrees to the proposition, with the hope of bonding with his grandfather.

Laura, Jack and Henry encounter many adventures along the trip, including multiple drug deals, reuniting with old drug dealer partners, almost being robbed at gunpoint, and an unwilling visit to Laura’s ex-husband in San Francisco. Just when Laura’s beginning to believe she and her father can have a legitimately loving relationship, she discovers the truth about what he’s been doing the entire time. Laura comes to the conclusion that he will never change and decides to no longer invest into their relationship because it only has resulted in disappointment.

After receiving some comforting words from her sister, Laura has to make a decision in her heart. She must decide whether to let the pain prevail or learn to forgive the people who hurt her.

BOUNDARIES is a movie portraying the complications in family relationships. Although the actors portraying these characters are not short of experience, some parts of the script aren’t completely convincing. Also, they are delivered in a way that causes viewers to be removed from the story’s more emotional aspects. That said, the movie does contain many ways for viewers to relate with the different family dynamics portrayed in this story. In fact, there are many sweet moments within the movie’s onscreen dysfunctional family dynamics.

BOUNDARIES is dominated by a strong Romantic worldview, where the characters follow their own hearts and selfish desires, rather than do what’s morally right. The family is constantly lying to each other for their own personal gain. They would rather put someone else in pain, rather than sacrifice a part of themselves. There is a small Christian, moral element about forgiveness toward the end. However, BOUNDARIES has a high degree of questionable content, including over 70 curse words, the selling and usage of drugs throughout the entire movie, and some sexual content. Besides the very graphic drawings that Henry does of people, there are a few examples of fornication and adultery. All these negative elements in BOUNDARIES make it excessive and unacceptable.

Content:

(RoRo, C, B, PC, Ab, LLL, V, SS, NNN, A, DDD, MMM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Romantic worldview where the main characters follow their hearts and selfish desires with disregard to others, there is little to no moral compass or guide for the characters and what is right is relative, plus minor Christian, moral elements with a theme of forgiveness toward the end of the movie, but one character makes a politically correct joke against “right wing Christians”;

Foul Language:
At least 71 obscenities (about half or more are “f” words and son calls his mother the “c” word) and 18 profanities using God or Jesus, plus some vulgar insults and a few jokes about pubic hair and “girls on their period”;

Violence:
Two masked men break into someone’s house with guns and try a robbery, woman shoots an arrow at the robbers, but no physical contact or blood;

Sex:
No actual sex scenes but man and woman are shown together in bed the morning after, implied fornication, woman sleeps with her ex-husband though she is unaware that he’s married, teenage boy likes to make lewd and explicit nude drawings, and some miscellaneous light sexual references;

Nudity:
Multiple nude drawings of men shown full frontal, teenage boy does extremely explicit drawings of people he meets, drawing shows nude woman bending over from the rear, teenage boy shown in his underwear, upper male nudity as a man gets out of bed in his underwear, female is shown in a bra as she gets dressed;

Alcohol Use:
Adults drink a whiskey together on a few occasions, but no drunkenness;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Light cigarette smoking, grandfather smokes marijuana and sells it throughout the movie, multiple examples from beginning to end of selling drugs and consuming them, and drug dealing is described as “the good kind of illegal activity”;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Lots of miscellaneous immorality includes multiple examples of moral relativism as what is right is gauged by the character and not by any type of guiding compass, multiple examples of lying throughout and much of the storyline is based on a lie, examples of bad role models and dysfunctional families, mother and son are seen more as equals, mother and grandfather are not seen as authority figures, and son corrects his mother.

In Brief:

BOUNDARIES follows Laura Jaconi as she raises her son alone after her husband left them. Laura has a soft heart for stray animals and has an overwhelming number of pets. Of course, this prevents Laura from finding any prospective romantic interests. As she tries to get her life together with her therapist’s help, Laura is thrown the responsibility of driving her estranged father three states away after he’s kicked out of his nursing home. Along the way, she’s revisited by ghosts from her past and must decide whether to continue resenting these things or learn to forgive.

BOUNDARIES has a strong Romantic worldview, with very subtle Christian, moral elements, like a theme of forgiveness. However, it contains a high degree of questionable content, including at least 90 obscenities and profanities, the promotion and sale of drugs, and a couple bedroom encounters. Although the script is very personal to the Writer/Director, the dialogue sometimes feels a bit unnatural, and the performances are not totally captivating. BOUNDARIES has some sweet family moments. However, all the negative elements in BOUNDARIES make it excessive and unacceptable.