Review of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life on DVD

We have reviewed a few films from Phase 4, and my kids were very excited to screen Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.  The trailer was cute, and the premise seemed tame: a 12-year-old boy, who recently lost his father, finds a mysterious wooden box with the words "The Meaning of Life - for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday."  The film is spent trying to figure out how to open the box, as well as what it all means for this boy.

Like many "family-friendly" films, this movie brings the likable young character into a variety of settings and in contact with some "wacky" characters.  The movie is a drawn-out scavenger hunt, of sorts, giving more clues to the box as the journey continues.  (The characters in the film are charming; Joe Pantoliano, Mira Sorvino, and Ryan Simpkins are all actors that most families will find familiar.  The up-and-coming young actors are rather good, as well.)

The film is rated PG for some thematic elements that may be difficult for younger viewers.  The grief that is shown concerning the boy losing his father may be a tough area to discuss with the kids (although it is done tactfully.)  One other thing that parents might want to be aware of is one brief scene involving a Ouija board.  Our family doesn't condone this sort activity and didn't want my kids even exposed to it.  We fast-forwarded through this part, subsequently, and, since it lent little to the plot, didn't feel we were missing anything.

Overall, my kids enjoyed this film.  The companionship that was formed between Jeremy Fink and his friend Lizzy is quirky and real.  It is nice seeing kids interact in a way that displays loyalty and risk when necessary.

You can learn more about this film, set to release on March 6th, at or purchase it at

*Screener was received for review.  Opinions are my own.