A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Based on Los Angeles columnist Ayn Carrillo-Gailey's memoir Pornology: Noun -- 1: A Good Girl's Guide to Porn; 2: The misadventures of the world's first anthroPORNologist; 3: A Hilarious Exploration of Men, Relationships, and Sex, A NICE GIRL LIKE YOU follows Lucy (Lucy Hale), a talented professional violinist who lives with her laid-back gamer boyfriend, Jeff (Stephen Friedrich), until she discovers he watches porn on his computer. Disgusted, Lucy gives Jeff an ultimatum: her or the internet porn. He chooses the latter and breaks up with her, but not before insulting her as "sex-phobic." Determined to prove him wrong, goal-oriented Lucy creates a sex-positive to-do list to explore her sexual horizons by going into an adult sex toy shop, meeting a porn star, binge-watching pornographic films, and mastering one sentence of "dirty talk." When her string quartet plays at a wedding featuring handsome groomsman Grant (Leonidas Gulaptis), Lucy is instantly attracted and hopeful she can use some of her new confidence to have a steamy relationship for once.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way sex is discussed and depicted in A Nice Girl Like You. Who do you think the target audience is? Is there more or less sexual content than you expected based on the premise?
Discuss your views and opinions on pornography and healthy sexual relationships. What does Lucy and Grant's relationship teach viewers about honesty and communication?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love romance
Top advice and articles
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.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch