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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The implied message is that teens/adolescents need strong friendships and trustworthy adults to whom they can turn when they need help and/or advice.
Positive Role Models
Grace's grandmother cares about her, and Grace loves her, too.
Violence & Scariness
A teen girl is gang-raped by a boy she's dating and his friends. Mother and daughter slap and push each other. Girls in school fight one another. A girl pulls a gun on guys who raped her friend. A beloved grandmother dies of natural causes, upsetting the main character. A woman hits a man. A woman is bloody after a fight.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Grace's mother flirts with an official and bends down so he can see her butt. A mother is shown having sex. A girl loses her virginity. Teens kiss, make out, and have sex. Glimpses of bare backs and sides are seen, but nothing more graphic, nudity-wise.
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Frequent strong language includes "s--t," "hell," "damn," "bitch," "motherf-cker," "f--k," "a--hole," "d--k," and more.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults and teens smoke cigarettes, drink, play drinking games, and do drugs (pills, pot).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Girl Like Grace is a gritty drama about a 17-year-old girl who's mourning the death of her best friend in sometimes unhealthy, risky ways. Like Precious or Pariah, this is a wrenching coming-of-age tale about someone who needs help but doesn't know how or where to get it. Viewers will see underage substance use and abuse (drinking, smoking, drugs) and sexual experimentation. A girl loses her virginity, and teens kiss, make out, and have sex (no graphic nudity). A teenage girl is gang-raped by the boy she's dating and his friends, and there are other forms of violence, too, including parent-on-child, friend-on-friend, and one scene in which a teen pulls a gun on her friend's attackers. The language is frequently strong, from both adults and teens ("f--k," "s--t," "motherf--ker," etc.), and there are references to suicide, bullying, and emotional/physical abuse. All of that said, the story offers a lot to discuss with older teens about various subjects.. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A couple of decent performances can't save this heavy-handed coming-of-age story; it's miscast and tries too hard to push the envelope while falling short of being truly memorable or relevant. Destiny does a fine job playing Grace, who's still grieving and processing the death of her best friend. But Beauvais overplays her role to an almost campy degree, and Raven-Symoné is far too old to play a high-school mean girl. And Good, while a talented actress, looks old enough to be Destiny's mother, rather a friend's older sister.
With A Girl Like Grace, director Ty Hodges clearly hoped to make a movie as impactful as Thirteen or Precious, but the tone, screenplay, and acting don't work cohesively enough to give the film that kind of heft. Yes, it's "gritty," and there are several disturbing scenes that will make parents cringe, but that's not what makes for a superb coming-of-age story. At the very least, the movie should prompt many conversations about everything from bullying and self-harm to substance use and parental abuse.
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.