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The Joy Luck Club



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

The stories of four Chinese mothers and their four American daughters give insight into the mother/daughter ties that bind.

SEX/NUDITY 4 - One scene depicts very strong sexual tension and desire which leads to a passionate, yet brief love-making scene. The participants remain clothed. There is also a brief rape scene between an old man and a young woman. A man and woman are shown in bed together, presumably after having slept together. The man is bare-chested.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - There is a very disturbing scene where a mother abandons her two infants at the side of a road, during war time. A girl is slapped in the face, and a man throws his wife on the floor. A woman breaks a dish and lunges at a man with a sharp shard. A woman commits suicide by eating opium laced sweets. We only see her after the fact. A woman drowns her baby for revenge against her unfaithful and abusive husband. A young girl is scalded by hot soup. A woman cuts her arm and the blood pours into a bowl.

PROFANITY 5 - A couple of F-words, scatological terms and anatomical references, many of which are spoken in Chinese and translated in the subtitles. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of a mother, disappointing your parents, matchmaking, infidelity, racism, suicide.

MESSAGE - You must always feel confident in your own worth.

Special Keywords: S4 - V5 - P5 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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