Story

One Chance tells the story of Paul Potts (James Corden), the first winner of reality television show Britain’s Got Talent. As a child Paul is overweight and unpopular with his peers. Often a victim of bullying, he escapes from his reality through singing. As he grows older he develops his passion for singing opera. His mother (Julie Walters) encourages this talent, but his father (Colm Meaney) despises it.

Paul is lost as a young adult, torn between trying to find a sensible job and reaching for his operatic dreams. Paul meets his one and only love, Julie-Ann (Alexandra Roach), but despite her love and encouragement, his life is still fraught with many challenges. He begins to lose faith in himself and his talent. But when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes up, Paul throws caution to the wind and gives his talent one last chance.

Themes

Teasing and bullying; childhood illness; talent quests

Violence

One Chance has some violence. For example:

  • There are several bullying incidents. Bullies chase Paul at different times in his childhood. In one scene a bully grabs him and Paul runs into a pole and knocks out his teeth. He lies on the ground with blood coming from his mouth. Another bully spits into his mouth.
  • Some men approach Paul, threaten him and then punch him. Paul falls to the ground, and the men kick him and hit him. One of the men grabs a chain and wraps it around his fist to punch Paul. One of Paul’s friends hits the man over the head with a guitar. He falls to the ground but is still conscious.
  • Paul’s father punches a man in the face after the man insults Paul.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, One Chance has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • As a child Paul faints and collapses to the ground. He’s rushed to hospital for an operation.
  • As an adult Paul is on his bike when he is hit by a car and breaks several bones in his body. In hospital he has a cast over most of his body. 

From 5-8

One Chance shows aspects of the negative relationship between Paul and his father. This is fairly mild and focuses on how Paul’s father doesn’t support Paul’s interest in opera. But some children who are sensitive to relationship problems might find it upsetting that Paul’s father doesn’t stand up for his son. 

From 8-13

Children in this age group might also be disturbed by Paul’s relationship with his father and by the way people bully Paul. 

Over 13

Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by the themes and scenes mentioned above. 

Sexual references

One Chance has many sexual references. For example:

  • Characters talk about sex several times, including one scene where Paul’s friend describes how he had ‘fantasy sex’ as a unicorn with his girlfriend.
  • Characters flirt with each other, and the movie shows people holding hands, winking and blowing kisses.
  • Paul’s mother tells her husband to thrust his hips at her, and she dances in a provocative way.
  • Paul says that he might need to ‘sell his body’ for money.
  • Julie-Ann and Paul talk about their sexual history. Julie-Ann jokingly states she has ‘had thousands’. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

One Chance shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Adults drink in pubs.
  • Paul’s mate comes to work carrying a bottle of spirits. He’s drunk.
  • Julie-Ann drinks a pint of beer very quickly. 

Nudity and sexual activity

One Chance has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Julie-Ann and Paul kiss each other several times in the movie. In another scene, a friend of Paul’s kisses him passionately.
  • On Julie-Ann and Paul’s wedding night, Julie-Ann strips down to her underwear. They kiss and fall onto the bed. 

Product placement

One Chance has some product placement. For example, it shows the following brands: Carphone Warehouse, The Daily Mirror, Lancome, Colgate, Listerine, Burger King, Tesco, Nokia, Britain’s Got Talent and Boots. 

Coarse language

One Chance has some coarse language. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

One Chance is about Paul Potts, the winner of a popular British talent show. It tells the story of Paul’s difficult childhood and how his life turns around after he gets one last chance to shine.

It lacks interest for children under 12 years, and we recommend parental guidance to 15 years because of scenes of violence, particularly bullying, and coarse language.

The main messages from this movie are about love and its challenges.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • following your dreams
  • being true to yourself and not trying to be the same as other people.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the following:

  • Reality television shows: how likely is it that someone will become famous after being on a talent show? How else could Paul have nurtured his talent?
  • Mental health: near the end of the movie, Paul seems to be depressed and unmotivated. Why is this? What can he do to get help and support?