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"HUMAN NATURE"
(2002) (Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Heavy Minor Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor None Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: The lives of an excessively hairy novelist, a research scientist, and his assistant are changed when they discover a feral man and try to convert him from an ape-like being into a civilized human.
PLOT:
Nathan Bronfman (TIM ROBBINS) is a research scientist whose formal and strict upbringing regarding his table manners years ago at the hands of his parents (ROBERT FORSTER and MARY KAY PLACE) led him to attempt to teach the same to ordinary mice.

Lila Jute (PATRICIA ARQUETTE) is a woman whose excessive hairiness eventually led her to move into the woods and become a best-selling nature writer. Yet, when she turns thirty and her hormones start calling, she decides she must "fit in" with how "normal" women look and thus visits Louise (ROSIE PEREZ), an electrolysis technician who removes her hair and fixes her up with Nathan.

The two immediately hit it off despite their idiosyncrasies and Lila's hiding of her hairiness from Nathan. Their lives change, however, when they come across a feral man (RHYS IFANS) living in the woods who was raised by a man who thought of himself as an ape. Believing he can "save" this man that his assistant, Gabrielle (MIRANDA OTTO), names "Puff," Nathan sets out to condition him to be a civilized human.

Yet, his attention paid to Puff and Gabrielle -- who's obviously interested in her boss in more than just a professional way - puts a strain on his relationship with Lila. As things progress along with Puff's rapid learning curve, they eventually go out of control, leading to the various characters having to deal with the many facets of human nature, including murder.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or of the film "Being John Malkovich" (the writer also wrote this film), they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexuality/nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TIM ROBBINS plays an anal research scientist obsessed with table manners and civilizing Puff. He uses strong profanity and cheats on Lila with Gabrielle. He also uses strong profanity.
  • PATRICIA ARQUETTE plays a nature novelist who's had to deal with her excessive hairiness all of her life. She eventually moves in with Nathan, but becomes disenchanted with the life she then leads. She uses strong profanity and is often seen nude (both in hairy and hairless modes).
  • RHYS IFANS plays a feral man captured and then civilized by Nathan who must try to contain his sexual urges.
  • MIRANDA OTTO plays Gabrielle's assistant who eventually comes on to and has sex with him. She uses profanity.
  • ROSIE PEREZ plays an electrolysis technician who tries to help Lila both physically and mentally regarding her condition. She uses strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 14 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue is present (some of it being explicit), as are some sexual encounters that are seen (with movement and sounds) or just heard.

    A feral man is seen masturbating as well as attempting to hump women or nude pictures of them, while various instances of nonsexual nudity occur (bare breasts and butt, both hairy and bare, as well as male full frontal and rear nudity).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, a person shoots and kills another person just off camera (with some bloody results), others hold guns on others and a feral man is repeatedly shocked with an electric collar during his reconditioning. Meanwhile, various characters drink and a few smoke. If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to examine our detailed listings more closely for more detailed content information.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Nathan has wine while on a date with Lila.
  • Nathan's parents have wine when he's a child.
  • Nathan and Lila have wine.
  • Lila brings Nathan a tropical drink of some sort that he sips.
  • Puff and Nathan have wine during a training session.
  • Nathan, Lila and Puff have wine in a restaurant, as do others.
  • We see a waitress carrying beer in a restaurant.
  • Lila reports that she picked up Puff who spent most of the evening drinking, among other things.
  • Nathan, Gabrielle and Puff celebrate with champagne.
  • Puff drinks from a brown paper bag.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see repeated scenes featuring Nathan in the hereafter with a small bullet hole wound in his head and a little bit of blood running down from it (as well as one right after he's shot).
  • Puff has a few bloody scrapes on his body after hurriedly making his way through the woods.
  • Lila has some bloody cuts on her face and body while shaving.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The person responsible for killing Nathan has both types of attitudes.
  • The man who kidnapped Puff as a child and then raised him in the wilderness as an ape also had a bad attitude.
  • Nathan's parents are harsh with him when he's a child and picks the wrong fork to use for part of his dinner (they make him go to his room without eating).
  • Some will see Nathan as having both types of attitudes for thinking he should train Puff to be a human and using shock therapy/conditioning to do so.
  • Nathan reacts adversely to discovering that Lila is hairy and cheats on her with Gabrielle (and he later lies to her about that) who was obviously trying to seduce him (and we later learn fakes her French accent).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • For those who don't like scenes of an animals in peril, the opening scene where a crow chases after and tries to catch two small mice might come off as tense (although the mice are okay, the crow crashes into a tree and it's all played in a zany comedy style). The same holds true for a lab experiment where a mouse gets an electric shock for picking the wrong item.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Held on Nathan and Gabrielle by an accomplice of Lila's, Nathan holds another on Lila and Puff, and one is used to kill Nathan.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck humanity" (said and the title of a book), "Go the f*ck away," "Sh*tfaced," "Horny" (sexual), "Jeez," "Parking's a bitch" and "I'm freezing my ass off."
  • We see Lila in the bathtub prepared to kill herself by slitting her wrists - but she doesn't.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of comically suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 14 "f" words (6 used sexually and 1 is seen written as a book title), 2 "s" words, 1 slang term using female genitals ("c*nt"), 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 2 uses each of "For God's sakes" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "God," "My God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Lila as just a 12-year-old in her bra as she examines the abundant hair on her chest. We then see her the same way again in the doctor's office. Years later, we see her playing a variation of King Kong in a sideshow wearing a thong bottom (showing most of her bare butt) and bikini top.
  • We see Lila in the bathtub (prepared to kill herself by slitting her wrists - but she doesn't) and see soapsuds covering her breasts.
  • From a distance, we see a nude man's bare butt as he swings young Puff around in the wilderness.
  • Nathan's father tells Nathan (as a boy) about apes masturbating in public and smelling the "red, swollen, female rump."
  • We see Lila nude in the wilderness and see her "bare" breasts (that are mostly covered in chest hair) along with the side of her bare butt. She claims that she was content that way until she was thirty and "horny."
  • We then see her lying on a bed holding a laptop computer on her stomach as a man kisses her along her legs and/or crotch (and she has a pleasured look on her face). We then see that she was fantasizing about that as a small dog was licking her crotch (we see the licking, but nothing explicit).
  • Louise tells Lila about a 35-year-old virgin (Nathan) with bad eyesight and a small penis. When Lila goes on a date with him, she looks at his clothed crotch and he self-consciously covers it with his napkin.
  • Nathan and Lila passionately kiss (played more for laughs than eroticism).
  • Lila talks to Louise about Nathan, and enthusiastically comments on "his little penis" and compares it to a pig's penis (saying it's charming).
  • Louise then tells Lila that you "f*ck" the mind rather than the body (referring to men).
  • We see Lila in bed with Nathan (just sleeping with him being bare-chested).
  • Upon seeing Puff as a wild and nude creature in the woods, Lila strips off all of her clothes. We first see her in her bra and then her bare back when she removes that. Puff then comments (in voice over narration) that he wanted to touch and caress her due to urges he couldn't explain. We then see her bare breasts (hairless) before Puff runs off and we see his bare butt. We then see repeated views of her bare breasts and the sides of both of their bare butts, until she catches sight of him masturbating beside her (we see his hand moving up and down at his crotch and hear related sounds). He then falls from the tree he's in and lands on the ground, knocking himself unconscious (we see his nude body with some foliage blocking a view of his crotch).
  • Nathan walks in and catches Lila shaving herself, and sees shaving cream covering most of her body, including her bare breasts.
  • We see Gabrielle lying on her bed eating cherries, wearing just a small negligee. She later wears just that under an overcoat when she goes to see Nathan in the lab late at night. She then comes on to him, raising one leg so that he sees a great deal of her garter-covered thigh. He then runs his hang along her thigh and she stands so that his face is right at her crotch. She then gets on top of him on the floor, kissing him, all while Puff watches. We then hear sounds of them having sex as Puff comments on that (in voice over hindsight), saying he saw the "whole, sweaty, passionate, ugly, beautiful act" and that after seeing that, "I wanted me some of that." He then adds that he understood that "to get some," he'd have to play their game (and act human).
  • We see Puff wearing just a diaper while being trained and in his "cage."
  • Nathan and Gabrielle make out while she wears a short skirt.
  • Lila complains to Nathan that they barely have sex, and that when they do it's different.
  • Gabrielle shows some cleavage.
  • In an imagined scene, we see a baby breast-feeding at Gabrielle's mostly bare breast (after she tells Nathan that she wants a baby inside her belly).
  • Nathan imagines have sex with Gabrielle (with her on top with sounds and kissing), but we then see that he's just finished having sex with Lila (no nudity or movement).
  • After Puff is let out of his cage for the first time, he affectionately hugs Nathan and then Lila. He starts humping her (both are clothed), however, and Nathan must zap him (with an electric collar) to make him stop.
  • After acting civilized in a restaurant, Puff suddenly grabs a waitress from behind and begins humping her rear end (until Nathan zaps him). Later, Lila says it's an animal urge and nothing to be ashamed of. Nathan then makes her tell him to control it.
  • Later, we see them doing more conditioning of Puff by showing him color slides of a bare-breasted woman wearing panties in several poses, including one where she's turned around and partially pulling down her panties (showing the top of her bare butt). Puff tries to retain control, but repeatedly rushes the images and humps the screen several times, all while Nathan gives him more shocks. As the "acid test," Nathan and Lila then take Puff to a Hooters-like restaurant called Chesters where the camera focuses on the women's chests and butts (in tight/revealing outfits). As one such waitress moves in close to him, he puts his hand down toward his crotch (but the scene ends there).
  • We see Gabrielle in her panties and bra as she changes clothes, and then see her lying on her bed waiting for Nathan in her short negligee.
  • We see most of a woman's bare butt (in a thong bottom) in a strip club and then see her legs wrapped around Puff's neck with his face in her crotch.
  • Lila reports that she picked up Puff who spent most of the evening drinking, watching strippers and "f*cking a whore." When she then confronts Nathan about what he was really doing, he replies (about Gabrielle), "I f*cked her."
  • Lila makes some comment about a man and compulsive masturbation, but doesn't finish the thought.
  • After a demonstration, Gabrielle enters and feels Nathan's clothed butt. We then see Puff in a motel room hearing the rhythmic banging sounds of the bed and a woman next door (presumably of Nathan and Gabrielle having sex).
  • We then see a quick shot of Puff masturbating in an adult store as he watches a porno tape showing part of a woman as she's having sex with someone behind her (we only see the front of her). As Puff walks out, we see many covers of porno tapes in the store (but it's too quick to note any details).
  • We hear more motel bed sexual sounds and then see Puff walking the street and then walking off with a prostitute. We then see the woman go down to his crotch and we hear a zipper opening sound as she presumably performs oral sex on him.
  • Lila shows some cleavage as she tells Puff to take off his clothes to return him to the wild. She then starts to take off hers, and we see her in her bra. We then see Puff completely nude with his hand covering his crotch and see his bare butt. We also see her holding her arm across her bare breasts.
  • Later, while both are in the woods and completely nude (we see her bare butt), she bends over and he comments on how good she looks. She then shocks him and he lands on top of her in the woods. They then kiss and roll around on the ground (we can't really see what's happening). She then continues to shock him as they kiss.
  • We see Gabrielle on top of Nathan having sex (a little bit of movement, views of her bare back and side of bare breast and some sexual sounds). She kisses him during this, but he looks pained and/or distracted (as he thinks of Lila). She then complains that when he makes love to her, he's making love to someone else. Later, in front of his parents, she then adds that he barely looks at her during their lovemaking sessions. Nathan's younger, adopted brother (age 6) says he wouldn't stop looking at her. When she then storms upstairs, the boy follows her.
  • We see Puff and Lila up in a tree nude, straddling a branch. We see the side of her bare breast and the side of both of their bare butts. We see the side of her bare breast again and then see a shot with her hair mostly covering her breasts. Nathan then sees her and becomes excited, asking if he can touch her. We see more views of Lila's bare butt.
  • We see Puff's bare butt and glimpses of full frontal nudity.
  • As Puff strips down to return to the wild again, we see his bare butt and then see his full frontal nudity.
  • Gabrielle states that Puff reminds her of Nathan, he comments about "like father, like son," and she makes a French comment presumably about his penis size being bigger than Nathan's.
  • SMOKING
  • Lila smokes once, Nathan has an unlit prop pipe in his mouth twice, and a few miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The effects - both good and bad - that civilization and its trappings have had on people and animals.
  • We see Lila in the bathtub prepared to kill herself by slitting her wrists - but she doesn't.
  • People, especially women, who are overly hair and how society treats and reacts to them.
  • The impact that parents have on kids and their ideology by the way they raise and teach them about the world.
  • How Lila changes in appearance, attitude and behavior, in an attempt to please Nathan.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A crow chases after two mice and then crashes into a tree.
  • We see repeated scenes featuring Nathan in the hereafter with a small bullet hole wound in his head and a little bit of blood running down from it (indicating he was shot in the head after we hear, but don't see the gunshot).
  • Lila kicks a dog off her bed when she realizes that it was licking her (rather than a man doing that).
  • Puff falls from a tree and lands on the ground, knocking himself unconscious.
  • While using shock therapy/conditioning on Puff, Nathan shocks him many times in various scenes (often to the extreme, including one scene where smoke rises from the electric collar around his neck).
  • Gabrielle removes her lab coat and hits Nathan with it before storming off.
  • An acquaintance of Lila's holds a pistol on Nathan and Gabrielle.
  • Puff tries to run away from Lila, but she zaps him with his electric collar.
  • Nathan shows up with a gun and holds it on Lila and Puff. Puff then gets the gun and holds it on Nathan, and ends up shooting him (we don't see the impact but hear the shot and that of the body falling to the ground). We do see the small bullet hole and blood trickle again.



  • Reviewed April 8, 2002 / Posted April 12, 2002

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