Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

  • Review Date: June 10, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011

Common Sense Media says

Popular book heroine gets a bummer adaptation.
  • Review Date: June 10, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The story isn't meant to be educational, but kids will learn about the Bigfoot myth, as well as the definition of a "guerrilla artist."

Positive messages

Judy's summer experience offers some positive messages about the importance of not trying to force yourself to do exciting things but instead simply enjoying the moment and finding what's amusing in your everyday life. When Judy and her family come together for the Bigfoot escapade, she realizes that she really can have a fab summer even without her chart and her friends.

Positive role models

Although she's a little bit flaky and irresponsible (and not exactly a safe driver), Aunt Opal is kind and willing to help Judy in her attempts to win thrill points. Frank, despite being bossed around constantly, is a good friend to Judy and has the courage to tell her when she's being inconsiderate. Judy learns to appreciate her family, friends, and time at home for the summer.

Violence & scariness

Some slapstick comedy -- like kids falling and tripping and cars hitting things -- but no one is hurt. Kids cross a creek unsupervised on a tight rope. In scenes featuring wild driving, it doesn't look as though anyone is wearing a seat belt. One scene features three kids on the same bike, with only one wearing a helmet.

Sexy stuff

Aunt Opal wears some pretty short shorts and has mild cleavage in one outfit.

Language

Infrequent use of words like "dumb," "stupid," and "oh my God," as well as scatological words including "poo," "crap," and "pee."

Consumerism

A few noticeable product placements -- like a Dyson vacuum, the Apple MacBook computer, Microsoft's Bing search engine, the Toyota Prius, and the website GiantHello.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this big-screen adaptation of Megan McDonald's popular kids' books follows elementary schooler Judy Moody as she experiences a summer of fun that's fine for younger audiences, especially those familiar with the stories. The humor does veer toward the potty variety -- expect a couple of scatological words like "crap" and the sight of Judy covered in blue vomit and a toad peeing on her friend -- but otherwise there's not much that parents are likely to find objectionable. And Judy learns a valuable lesson: that having a meaningful summer isn't about ticking off "thrilling" activities on a chart but rather enjoying your family and each day's adventures.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on Megan McDonald's book series, this adaptation follows young Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) as she deals with a summer break away from two of her best friends, who are off to exciting vacations in Borneo and circus camp. Judy challenges her three pals to a contest that keeps track of their summer adventures on a chart. Whoever gets to 100 "thrill points" first wins ... and has officially had a "NOT Bummer Summer." While her friends swim with sharks and ride elephants, Judy stays home with her younger brother Stink (Parris Mosteller) and her artistic Aunt Opal (Heather Graham), who's watching them for the summer. As Judy and her nerdy friend Frank (Preston Bailey) attempt to have a "thrilladelic" vacation, she discovers that sometimes fun is about the unexpected, not the forced.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Judy Moody books are always a delight to share with early readers, but the movie doesn't capture the joy of Judy. Rather than coming across as a young spitfire with a fantastic imagination, Judy seems more jealous and whiny. And even though Beatty is a charming young actress, the spark that makes Judy an early-elementary favorite doesn't translate to the big screen. There's just not much to the plot (who doesn't want to have a good summer?), and the lack of dramatic tension (the only thing getting in Judy's way is herself) makes this less exciting than you'd expect.

Graham looks like she's having fun as she plays the stereotypical free-spirited relative who adds some spontaneity to the Moody household, but it's not enough. Jaleel White (who once played TV's ever-popular Steve Urkel) has a supporting role as Judy's teacher, who tasks his class with a riddle and a mission to find him over the summer. He's always good for a laugh or two, but the subplot doesn't hold much interest. This movie may not be a bummer for first graders, but anyone much older may be more bored than amused.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Judy's summer goal and her jealousy of her best friends. Kids: Is it hard when it seems like your friends are going to have a more exciting vacation than you? What does Judy's story teach you about that?

  • How does this movie compare to other kids' book adaptations? Which are your favorites?

  • Even though Stink gets on Judy's nerves, they seem to have a better relationship than other movie siblings. How believable are their interactions?

  • Do you consider Aunt Opal to be a good role model for the kids? Do you have any relatives like her?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 10, 2011
DVD release date:October 11, 2011
Cast:Heather Graham, Jaleel White, Jordana Beatty
Director:John Schultz
Studio:Relativity Media
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild rude humor and language

This review of Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 and 7 year old Written bylcmaxwell June 11, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Fun and entertaining movie

Saw it with my 7yr old daugher who likes the judy moody books and we both laughed multiple times! We've brought up lines from the movie several times since we saw it. It was really fun.

Parent Written bykbw624 June 17, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

NOT Bummer Summer Movie for 6-10yo's!

Given the target audience of the movie, I thought it was just right. I as an adult was simply bored and thought it stupid at times--but I'm not the target audience. My 8yo daughter and her same-aged friend loved it. While not educational by normal standards, I believe it gives kids ideas about how THEY can make their possibly boring summer fun and "thrilling". I think teaching kids how to entertain themselves and being creative in this way sends a positive message. Products are definitely noticeable throughout the movie, but it's not awful--and they're every day items.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much consumerism
Teen, 15 years old Written byloverocksbaby June 16, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

6-9

Me and my sister saw it (she's 7) She liked it of course I thought it was stupid but it's for 6-9 years old but older will think it's stupid.
A cute movie for kids I have to say .

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