Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this well-meant but clunky period drama about African Americans struggling to get by during the Great Depression centers on characters who are forced to make hard choices during a hard time. Circumstances and racism combine to make it seem impossible to ever get ahead, but some of the characters are able to shine even against strong odds. Expect some swearing (including "s--t" and the "N" word), drinking, and smoking, as well as moderate flirting and a few violent confrontations -- but on the whole the story is more heartwarming than eyebrow raising. Still, kids who aren't already interested in the time period/subject matter probably won't be too intrigued.
A man and a woman who live in the same rooming house flirt; she hints that if he acts just right, he might not "sleep alone" at night. They kiss at the end of a date. Characters are shown sitting in the bath (no sensitive body parts are seen).
There's an unofficial boxing match. A gun is brandished. The head of a factory bullies his son and an employee (he also uses racial slurs). A shed is torched, and there's a threat of more violence from a loan shark, who later attempts to knife someone. (Another character goes at him with a bat.) A woman slaps a man who gets fresh with her; a main character points a gun at another point blank. One man tries to hang himself.
Frequent use of the word "ass" (as in "big ass"), as well as occasional uses of "damn," "piss," "s--t," "hell," and the "N" word.
The movie conveys the message that self-esteem is important, especially during the dark days of the Depression, when many people have little reason to feel anything but gloomy. Simply putting on a good suit and receiving a few words of praise and approval can lift someone's spirits -- and often gives them the strength to push forward through difficult situations.
Drugs / Tobacco /
One character smokes -- he's shown holding a cigarette. A man drinks his troubles away and sneaks a bottle into his rooming house. A man scrapes the leftover tobacco from old cigarettes so he can roll new ones to smoke.