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Parents' Guide to

Can't Buy Me Love

By Ellen Twadell, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dated '80s teen comedy has cursing, sex, stereotypes.

Movie PG-13 1987 94 minutes
Can't Buy Me Love Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 17+

Disagree with some of this review

While I think some of the ratings for this review are accurate I disagree that there are no Positive Messages. This movie has a VERY positive message for teens. The whole purpose of this movie is to demonstrate that student cliques are limiting for kids. The movie is about a nerdy boy (Ronald) who pays a pretty girl (Cindy) to help make him popular and discovers popularity comes with a price. At one point in the film Cindy tells Ronald that it is a lot of work to keep up appearances and that she can't even be herself around her friends (She writes poetry, but can't really share it with her friends ). The movie also shows some typical stereotypes of popular "dumb jocks" and cheerleaders who don't care about much, but it does make the point that being popular doesn't offer a lot of depth. Finally, in the process of trying to be popular, Ronald loses all his friends who liked him for who he was and makes a touching speech toward the end of the movie about friendships in elementary school vs. friendships in high school. I think the message about being yourself and not trying to fit into any clique is a very important message for high school kids. I can't believe the reviewers missed this.
2 people found this helpful.
age 11+


very entertaining

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (4 ):

High schoolers will have little tolerance for the simplified version of their social lives, and parents might object to younger children watching due to language and issues of sexuality. There are a few charming moments, though, especially as Cindy and Ronald become friends. Overall, though, this film has not aged well. Humor that may have been considered funny decades ago (like fat-shaming) comes across as mean-spirited now. There are no consequences for bullying or underage drinking. Parents who may have fond memories of this movie might be surprised to remember it isn't as good as they remembered.

Movie Details

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