A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will get an introductory look at some differences between two cultures: American and English. Additionally, there are visuals of a number of London's most beautiful and relevant landmarks.
The movie's positive messages include that true love conquers all and that good intentions trump questionable behavior. That said, dishonesty doesn't have many negative consequences in this film. The girls reach their goal by lying and manipulating ... as well as being adorable.
Positive Role Models
Despite the fact that they're terribly dishonest and have made the unrealistic choice of splitting up, living on separate continents, and each raising a twin daughter, both parents are caring, responsible, and devoted. Other caregivers -- a nanny, a butler, and a grandfather -- are nurturing, unselfish, and loving. The twins are bright, resourceful, loving, independent, and capable of great (but ultimately harmless) mischief.
Violence & Scariness
A girl screams as her twin sister pierces her ears with a needle. In one comic sequence, a woman falls into a lake, then reacts to a small lizard on her head and in her mouth. A few scenes with somewhat mean-spirited teasing among young campers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some warm kisses and embraces between adults. After losing a bet at camp, a girl has to jump into a lake, naked, at night. The sequence is shot from a distance, and there's no actual nudity on screen.
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Products & Purchases
Oreos, Skippy Peanut Butter, Harrod's Department Store, British Airways, Prada, Evian. Some of these products are mentioned in conversation as well as visually prominent.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the main characters owns a vineyard; many scenes include drinking wine -- at meals and to mark a special event. At one dinner, an 11-year-old girl is given a small sip of wine and is asked for her opinion of its quality. The girls' mother, anxious about an upcoming event, drinks too much and gets tipsy while preparing for an uncomfortable meeting.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though it's funny and has a warm heart and happy ending, this Disney remake is about divorce and reconciliation and could require some explanation and reassurance. It's a complicated, unlikely story spun as a fanciful tale: The parents have lied to their kids, neither twin is aware of the other's existence, and each has been kept from one parent for eleven years. Deceit plays an important part in the movie's plot (albeit all in the name of family togetherness). Wine is consumed in several scenes, and the twins' mother gets slightly drunk before she faces her ex-husband. An ear-piercing scene results in an "ewww" moment, and a poker game results in a girl's embarrassing naked dive into a lake (a very wide shot). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a delightful remake of the Hayley Mills classic. Lohan is utterly adorable and does a masterful job of creating two separate characters, each of whom spends a large part of the movie impersonating the other. But divorced parents should make sure that their children have no illusions of a reconciliation, and all parents should make sure that while it may be charming for the children in the movie to manipulate their parents, it isn't appropriate for real life.
Kids who enjoy this version will get a kick out of comparing it to the original. Make sure that they notice Joanna Barnes, who plays Vicki (the fiancee) in the original, playing Vicki (the fiancee's mother) in the remake.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.