Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
16-Love Movie Poster Image
Wholesome, lightweight teen tale features tennis, romance.
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Stresses the importance of making wise decisions: "You are the sum of your choices." Though the film advocates for excellence, hard work, and committing oneself to a goal, finding a healthy balance between work and play is promoted as the ideal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The film's heroine, an ambitious tennis player and all-around nice girl, learns an important lessons about acquiring balance in life and about standing up for herself. She achieves a degree of independence while wisely remaining respectful to her over-eager dad, whom she helps make positive changes in attitude as well. She would be a better role model if her character felt more real, less shallow. The movie has no ethnic diversity.



A few romantic kisses resolve the budding love story.


Identifiable products are featured throughout: DUNLOP appears in foreground and background frequently; other sporting goods and accessories (Head, Penn, Volkl,  Remind, LaCoste, Playmate, Silent Partner ball machine), beverages and energy drinks (Gatorade, Fiji water, Teatulia tea, CUBA, NOS, Red Bull, FUZE), also La Costa Resort, La Jolla Tennis Club, Wells Fargo, iPod. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 16-Love is made for tweens and teens who like to see an appealing, talented young heroine work hard to achieve success and romance, and to squelch a mean girl along the way. Tennis is the canvas for this story about independence, first love, and parent-child relationships. Other than being a veritable billboard for sporting goods products and beverages, there's nothing objectionable in this predictable movie with straightforward messages about growing up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHollyAnne September 5, 2014

Cute and uplifting

I thought this was a really cute movie. It's about a girl who is trying to figure out who she is and what's important to her. It's perfectly clea... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 1, 2014

awesome film u have to watch

I think that 11 year olds can watch this and it is suitable with no bad content.

What's the story?

In 16-LOVE, Ally Mash (Lindsey Shaw) is near the height of a sparkling career as junior tennis tournament player in Southern California. Coached hard by her demanding dad (Keith Coulouris), Ally will tell you that "tennis is her life." She's willing to forego friends, parties, all the other stuff that goes along with being a high school student. So she's devastated when she injures her ankle in a prep match against an arrogant Russian girl just weeks before the Junior Open tournament. Confined to an all-consuming regimen designed by her dad (yoga, strength training, massage, therapy), Ally is reluctant at first to return the attentions of an adorable boy (Chandler Massey) who just happens to play tennis, too. Soon, however, though she works hard to prepare for the Junior Open, Ally begins to see the value of balance, fun, and just being a teen.

Is it any good?

Though well-intentioned, with clearly stated messages and values, 16-Love opts for one-dimensional characters and teen stereotypes instead of authentic, fully formed people.

The outcomes are never in doubt; some of the acting is amateurish; and it often feels like an extended commercial for Dunlop and other products associated with athletics. Still, Lindsey Shaw and Chandler Massey, are easy to root for; their performances are heartfelt and natural. There's plenty of innocent romance and just enough tennis to hold the audience's interest and keep the story moving.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss all the companies that advertised their products during this movie. How do the filmmakers benefit from showing those products? What do the companies hope the audiences will take away from this kind of exposure?

  • Why do you like watching movies about sports? Can you think of a sports movie you liked in which the team or player did not win "the big game" or match or tournament? Was that story still enjoyable? Why, and what did you learn from it?

  • What does it mean to be a "good sport"? How does this movie show both good and bad sportsmanship?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports movies

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate