3 user 5 critic

Bonobo (2014)

TV-MA | | Comedy, Drama | 21 June 2018 (USA)
A feuding mother and daughter find an unlikely source of help to reunite them - at a hippie commune, the last place that conservative, high-brow Judith ever thought she'd step foot in.

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Credited cast:
... Ralph
... Toby
... Judith
... Anita
Carolyn Pickles ... Celia
Eleanor Wyld ... Lily
... Malcolm
Patricia Potter ... Eva
... Helen
... Peter


Judith, an uptight widow, is appalled when her daughter Lily quits law school to move into a commune of hippie-misfits who live according to the behavioural principles of the bonobo monkey, a species famous for its 'make love not war' philosophy. Anita, the eccentric group leader, claims that she can resolve the conflict between mother & daughter if Judith will spend a day among the commune and submit to its principles. But with mother and daughter both hell-bent on proving each other wrong, Anita's methods must now be put to the test as never before.

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

21 June 2018 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


James Norton and Tessa Peake-Jones are co-stars on the TV series Grantchester See more »

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User Reviews

an unhappy bonobo
3 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Although the movie has an interesting premise - a human community organized to mimic the social lifestyle of the Bonobos, where social problems are resolved with sex - it doesn't do anything with this wonderful gem of an idea. I mean, think about it - a stuck-up mother joins a group of young sex freaks living freely like Bonobos. Free love ensues. A great idea! What could go wrong, right?

Unfortunately it's not enough to show cardboard characters hugging, and occasionally having all-out sex, to make an interesting movie. The shoehorned-in character development only makes it worse. The end result would have been acceptable as an oddball episode in some long- running TV drama-comedy series - but not as a feature film.

Everything is substandard. Starting with the script, which is truly appalling. The directing is ho-hum at best. There is no vision. Shots are boring. There's too much repetition, not enough development. Just drab scenes punctuated by contrived plot twists.

The only real saving graces of the film are the actors and actresses - especially the two leading ladies - who do their best with what they've been given. Unfortunately the characters are stereotypes, the story is laughable, and their problems are perfectly contrived and predictable. The plot points are copy-pasted from some Guinness Book of Movie Clichés, and the dialogue feels wholly unnatural.

It would be hard for me to recommend this movie for most people, based on my personal experiences alone. But I must confess some people seemed to like it in the theater. Laughter ensued. Perhaps they had left their critical hats at the door. That's all fine.

Let us give the movie benefit of the doubt. While the script and the directing fall sadly short of acceptable, the movie has some charm and comedic value, and a few good performances. So it might be tolerable entertainment, completely devoid of deeper thought, for those poor souls not expecting much more than an OK one-liner - humans behaving like horny monkeys - extended to ridiculous lengths.

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