Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) writes crossword puzzles for a local paper. She lives at home with her parents and is socially awkward. She likes to pass on strange facts to anyone who will listen.
Mary’s parents think she needs some romance in her life. They set up a blind date for her with a cable news cameraman named Steve (Bradley Cooper). Mary doesn’t like the idea, but when she sees Steve, she is immediately attracted to him. In fact, she throws herself at him as soon as they get into his car. The date ends when Steve is called away to cover a breaking news story. Before leaving, he half-heartedly suggests that Mary could come with him on the road. She has to say no because of her work. But Mary is so obsessed with Steve that her next crossword puzzle is ‘all about Steve’. This embarrasses the paper and gets Mary fired.
Remembering Steve’s invitation, Mary decides to take up his offer to go with him on the road. She boards a bus to Tucson and, after a near miss, tracks down Steve. Fearing Mary to be some type of crazed stalker, Steve plans to end the relationship before it gets started. But his coworker/newscaster presenter, Hartman Hughes (Thomas Haden Church), encourages Mary to go after Steve regardless of what Steve might say. So when Steve tells Mary that he’s not interested and wants her to leave, Mary ignores him.
With newfound friends Howard (DJ Qualls) and Elizabeth (Katy Mixon), Mary chases Steve across the country from one news story to another. This sometimes puts Steve’s job at risk.
All about Steve contains some slapstick-style violence and talk about violence. For example:
- Steve punches Hartmen in the face. Hartman has some blood on his mouth and face.
- Mary quizzes a truck driver, asking him if he kills animals and if he has raped or chopped up anyone. Mary writes the truck driver’s licence number on her arm in permanent ink. Then she tells him that he will have to chop her up into little pieces to avoid the police tracking him down if he does hurt her.
- Steve talks about the possibility that Mary is a homicidal stalker who will use a machete to carve out his eyes, cut off his feet, and make him eat his own legs. We also hear Steve talking about how Mary might try to poison him, so Steve refuses to eat food Mary offers him.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight. In particular, there are scenes involving accidental harm. For example:
- A dead horse lies on the ground. We are told that the horse has been killed in a siege.
- Steve is hit in the face by a camera and has blood on his mouth.
- Mary trips over a power cable. This causes Steve to fall from a scaffold and land hard on the ground on his back. Steve isn’t hurt.
- Mary and two friends are forced to hide in a storm drain when they are threatened by an approaching twister. Their car is lifted into the air and carried off by the twister. We see the wrecked car dumped on the ground later.
- A group of deaf children is walking along and a large area of ground collapses beneath their feet. The children fall into the gaping hole, which is an abandoned mine shaft. Later firemen winch the children to safety, dirty but unhurt.
- Mary later falls into the same hole in the ground and into a pool of water at the bottom of the shaft. Other than some blood on her knee, Mary seems to be unhurt.
- After falling into the mine shaft, Mary finds a young deaf child missed by rescuers. The child is dirty and is frightened but unhurt.
- We hear reports of how a baby has been born with three legs. The parents are in a legal battle over amputating the baby’s third leg.
Younger children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
This movie contains sexual references and innuendoes throughout. For example:
- There are several references to men being gay. Characters talk about a town being ‘gay friendly’.
- Mary is talking about not having had sex for a while. She says she could use a little (she whistles), and then says, ‘If you know what I mean’.
- Mary’s mother is talking to Mary about a blind date. She says, ‘Mary, he’s hot’.
- A woman talks about how she was born with a small penis. She rubs her crotch up against a man’s leg to prove it to him.
- Mary talks about Steve fondling her breasts. She describes her breasts as ‘little puppies’.
- Mary talks about ‘betting her left ovary’.
- Mary says that her second priority is ‘fornication’.
- A protester says that the ‘pro’ group has better sex.
- A character says, ‘You banging a fireman’.
- A character talks about a groin being ‘full of joy’.
- A man tells a woman to rest her lips ‘for all sorts of naughtiness’.
- Hartman tells Steve and Mary that he wants them to have a baby together.
- One man tells another that he looks like a retired porn star.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- A man who is using a tube of glue says, ‘This glue’s making me high’.
- A man in a diner drinks a beer.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Mary wears a low-cut top that shows her bra and deep cleavage. She also wears miniskirts that show her bare thighs.
- Several women wear low-cut tops. At one point, a cameraman deliberately zooms in on a woman wearing a top that shows deep cleavage and large breasts.
- We see Mary sitting next to Steve in a car (she has just met him). Before she says anything, Mary jumps onto a surprised Steve. She straddles him and kisses him on the mouth. They unbutton each other’s tops. They roll around in the back of Steve’s car. Mary is in her bra and a miniskirt, and Steve’s chest is naked. They kiss passionately. Mary places Steve’s hands on her breasts and says she is going to eat him like a mountain lion. They are interrupted by Steve’s phone ringing. Steve says, ‘Mary, I can hurry’, but the date is over.
- Mary lies in a bath full of bubbles. Her shoulders, thighs and knees are showing. She runs through her house wearing a towel wrapped around her naked body. She straddles a banister rail and attempts to slide down, but makes a face and stops.
- A man twice slaps Mary on her clothed bottom.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Apple computers, Twinkies and soft drinks.
This movie contains mild coarse language, some name-calling and some crude references.
Ideas to discuss with your children
All about Steve is a romantic comedy targeted at older teenagers (over 16) and grown-ups. Much of the movie’s humour revolves around crude sexual innuendo. It also makes fun of people who don’t fit in.
The main messages from this movie are:
- Don’t change yourself to fit with what other people think is normal. It’s OK to be different.
- Stick with what you believe in. ‘Perseverance’ is Mary’s favourite crossword puzzle word. She believes that if you stick with something, you will eventually make it. The worst thing you can do is to leave something unfinished.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with older children real-life issues such as stalking. For example, you could talk about the following questions:
- In the real world, what would be the consequences of Mary’s stalking behaviour?
- Is Mary’s behaviour (stalking) presented as less serious because she is a woman?
- Would we see Mary’s stalking behaviour differently if Mary’s character was replaced with a male character and Steve was a woman?