A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Encourages mature, honest communication in romantic and sexual relationships. Open-minded, sex-positive view of behavior between consenting adults. Importance of women (or people in general) taking charge of their sexuality.
Positive Role Models
Lucy is a talented musician, loyal friend. She's intelligent, kind, detail-oriented. Her to-do list makes her curious and open-minded. Priscilla, Nessa, and Paul are unconditional friends to Lucy, support her in her mission. Grant is attentive, loving. Main characters are all flawed in some way but address their flaws. Almost all of the characters are White and heterosexual, with exception of Nessa, who's Latina, and Paul, who's South Asian. It's surprising/disappointing that Lucy is White, since the author of the book the movie is based on is half-White Taiwanese and half Latina.
Violence & Scariness
Some slapstick tripping and near-falling, but nothing truly violent or disturbing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of suggestive material. Glimpses of pornography, but no actual pornographic scenes are shown. Viewers see the lead-up to sex and scenes of people flirting or kissing. In one quick scene in background, a man is in bed with two women who take turns kissing him. Sex scenes are brief and partially clothed (she's in a pajama top for one, a bra in the other two). They're not particularly steamy, and one fades to a scene of fireworks meant to signify orgasm. Sex toys are visible in a shop and later in Lucy's bedroom.
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Occasional strong language includes "s--t," one "f--king," "c--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink at a couple of wedding receptions. Lucy gets drunk from too much wine, drinking straight from the bottle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Nice Girl Like You is a sex-themed comedy based on columnist Ayn Carrillo-Gailey's memoir. Lucy Hale stars as professional violinist Lucy, who confronts her boyfriend after seeing his racy browser history and gives him an ultimatum: her or the porn. When he calls her sex-phobic and breaks up with her, Lucy decides to make a to-do list to prove she's not afraid of sex. It includes items like watching pornographic films, visiting an adult toy shop, reciting a naughty sentence, meeting an adult film star, and more. That said, despite the movie's premise, there's really not that much explicit material. The few actual sex scenes are fairly tame, semi-clothed (Hale is never even topless), and brief. Pornography is glimpsed on several occasions, but the scenes are all the lead-ups to the graphic sequences, rather than the encounters themselves. Adult sex toys are on display in a shop (and later in Lucy's home), and lots of conversations center around sex. Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "c--k," and one use of "f--k." Parents who watch with older teens may want to discuss their family's views on pornography, sexual health, sex work, and romantic relationships. 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 sex-themed romcom is a watered-down adaptation of a funny memoir about a good girl's guide to porn. Hale is believable as an uptight list maker who went to Harvard and wants to play for the philharmonic but somehow doesn't know a thing about intimacy and sex. But the White actress is miscast as the lead character: Author Carrillo-Gailey is a Latina/Taiwanese specialist in multicultural dating and relationships. Rather than whitewash the character, filmmakers should have found an Asian, Latina, or Asian-Latina person to play the role. Also, even though Gulaptis is charismatic, he and Hale don't have a natural chemistry.
Directed by the Riedell brothers, A Nice Girl Like You is conspicuously tame, far less rompy than high school-targeted comedies like Booksmart, Blockers, Superbad, or basically any Judd Apatow movie. It's not that the movie needed to be raunchier, but it would have been better if it had either more romance or more comedy. As it is, it's almost outdated in its quaintness. By changing the focus from porn to sex, the movie beggars belief that an educated, secular adult woman would be so out of touch with how grown-up sexual relationships work. What redeems the movie from being a total bust are the genuinely loving and unconditional relationships between Lucy and her closest friends, who form the rest of her professional string quartet. Mama hen Priscilla (Mindy Cohn), outspoken Nessa (Jackie Cruz), and understanding Paul (Adhir Kalyan) could have been judgemental and suspicious of Lucy's plan, but their support and encouragement lead to the movie's funniest and most sincere moments.
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.