Parents need to know that The Personal History of David Copperfield is a brilliantly funny retelling of the classic Charles Dickens novel. Though the movie is largely comedic, there are moments of violence -- although even they are often played for laughs. In one scene, a young David Copperfield (Ranveer Jaiswal) is beaten by his stepfather, Mr. Murdstone (Darren Boyd) -- a character whose cruelty extends to informing Copperfield of his mother's death only after her funeral. In another scene, Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton) and Uriah Heep (Ben Whishaw) repeatedly slap each other across the face before an older Copperfield (Dev Patel) punches Heep to the floor. While at sea during a vicious storm, a character falls from his boat and drowns. His body is seen laid out on the shore. There's some depiction of being unhoused, with Mr. Micawber (Peter Capaldi) and his family evicted from their home. Characters drink regularly, and Mr. Wickfield (Benedict Wong) is portrayed as being dependent on alcohol. Director Armando Iannucci's "color blind" approach to casting means that this take on the classic story is far more diverse than those that have come before. Several characters aspire to climb in social class, which sometimes leads to them acting deceitfully -- and, in one case, illegally. But the overall messages are of generosity, friendship, family, and recognizing what's really important in life.