Parents' Guide to

America the Beautiful

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Probing docu about society's obsession with looks.

Movie R 2008 105 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

My Two-Sense

Its really good but its missing the message of how God, the One who created us, sees us... The inappropriateness in the film is brief throughout (although, the plastic surgery scenes are harsh) they show how serious media affects everyone. Most seems reasonable within the context of the documentary. I wont be allowing my 9 year old to watch it until I feel hes of mental maturity and even then, I will most likely show something more Christian based.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

As fashion execs, tabloid journalists, advertisers, and plastic surgeons discuss how and why they contribute to this unattainable standard of beauty, this film proves to be both witty and troubling. Men make candid (and sometimes crude) observations about how important a woman's physical attributes -- like weight, height, and skin color -- are when they think about their ideal mate, but then can't explain why they feel the way they do. There are some heartbreaking moments, too, as the film documents the real devastation that can occur when people buy into the idea of looking "perfect" -- including becoming the victim of botched cosmetic surgery or dying from bulimia.

This documentary, which took five years to complete, doesn't take an unbiased approach to its subject. And most of Roberts' findings aren't particularly surprising, either. But the film is both socially probing and entertaining as it shows how far women have come in American society -- only to still be objectified by idealized standards of beauty that often hold them back. The movie also demonstrates how both men and women are becoming less able to appreciate the ordinary and how incapable they are becoming of finding the true beauty that lies inside them.

Movie Details

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