Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

DVD Release: February 7, 2012
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life


Twelve-year-old Jeremy receives a wooden box in the mail with the words, “The Meaning of Life — for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday.” He recognized the box as his Dad’s handiwork, although his Dad passed away five years earlier. The box has four locks, requiring four keys. But he keys are missing. He and his best friend Lizzy set off on a riveting quest through the streets of Manhattan to find the keys before time runs out.

Dove Review

Here is a movie that starts off with a locked box and a young man who is searching for the key, and within the box is the “meaning of life”. Jeremy Fink’s late father left it for him so it is extremely important to Jeremy that he finds a way to open it. So the movie grabs the audience’s curiosity from the beginning. Jeremy’s best friend Lizzie, who happens to be a girl, helps him along the way. The movie opens with Jeremy being only two weeks away from turning 13 which is, as Jeremy points out, a “big deal” when you’re 12.”

The opening sequence includes some vivid colors of various clocks, great animation of an airplane, a space ship, a windmill and lots of flowers, in addition to featuring a peppy song. The mystery of the locked box deepens as Jeremy and Lizzie meet Mr. Oswald, a happy and mysterious man, who gives them various “assignments” which don’t always make sense to them. Eventually, Jeremy receives the key and is able to finally open the box. But what does he find inside?

Jeremy is a neat character who wants to build a time machine and go back in time to see his father who passed away and left him the box. His friend Lizzie’s mother left Lizzie and her father some time previous so Jeremy and Lizzie share a common bond. The film contains themes of loyalty, friendship and emphasizes the need to truly appreciate the great moments of one’s life, and to even recognize the significance of the difficult times. Despite these nice themes, the film includes a brief seance and the two main characters visiting a palm reader, and we therefore are unable to award our Dove Seal to the movie due to the content rating hitting a level three in the “other” category. It’s too bad because without those two scenes, the film would have received our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: OMG-1; "You live in New Freaking York"-1; Crap-1; "Dork"-1; "Bullcock" used as kind of a play on "Crap"-1; "Shut up"-1
Violence: None
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: It's stated a girl steals stuff nobody would miss like playing cards and banana stickers; it's said a fortune teller told Jeremy's father he would die before he turned 40 but Jeremy is later told she told others the same thing so that they would live their lives "more fully"; some kids hold a seance to attempt to reach the spirit of Jeremy's dad; two kids visit a palm reader; another reference to fortune teller; kids try to find a key by entering an office building and looking through and trashing private files and they are caught and told to do community service; man with tattoos on arms; flatulence.


Company: Phase 4 Films
Writer: Wendy Mass (novel), Tamar Halpern (screenplay)
Director: Tamar Halpern
Producer: Lauren Bullock, Ken H. Keller
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 88 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Starring: Mira Sorvino, Joe Pantoliano, Ryan Simpkins, Maxwell Beer
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter