An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success Movie Poster Image
Tale of young baker jam-packed with positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 8 reviews

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

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Baking discipline and terms; some French phrases; integrating a new member into the family; navigating stepsiblings; running a successful business; fundraising.

Positive Messages

Discipline and follow-through; respect for rules and authority; teamwork; everyone's role matters on a team; perseverance; doing your best; communication; taking criticism well; negotiating with friends; saying you're sorry; including others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Grace is determined, plucky, cool under pressure, and confident. Setbacks don't easily discourage her, and she has a singular vision about improving her skills and achieving whatever she sets out to do. Parents and grandparents offer strong mentoring and guidance; friends are direct and honest with her when she oversteps. There are disagreements and conflicts and some trouble getting along with a stepsibling, but each scenario sets up an opportunity for age-appropriate conflict resolution.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Grace is the 2015 American Girl doll of the year. Though the movie doesn't pitch the doll or its accoutrements directly, it's a vehicle to promote the pricey line of books, movies, dolls, and endless accessories.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success is the live-action film promoting the 2015 Doll of the Year, Grace, an ambitious girl who's passionate about baking. The film is jam-packed with positive lessons about drive, staying cool under pressure, merging stepfamilies (and welcoming a new baby), and striving for excellence, all while keeping a level head and appreciating all members of the team. It's best for elementary school-age kids who will relate to navigating sibling and stepfamily conflicts, learning how to take criticism, and keeping a positive attitude about setbacks.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKeladria May 15, 2021

This movie is wonderful!

Grace is a wonderful protagonist! She follows her dreams and does whatever it takes to achieve her goals! This is a great movie to show Girls that you should al... Continue reading
Adult Written bymeydiana.rizki November 13, 2020

The good thing for this film.

This movie teaches the sort of moral lessons modern children's movies are expected to teach, and that's fine. The trip to Paris is a waste, though, be... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bytascuw-mIxkup-0hafja April 19, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written bywidsa crystal girl February 2, 2020


This movie is cute and makes a good family movie. The only thing I find kind of annoying is how Grace’s friends, Ella and Maddy act. They are kind of rude and d... Continue reading

What's the story?

In AN AMERICAN GIRL: GRACE STIRS UP SUCCESS, Grace (Olivia Rodrigo) is an aspiring baker, and, as far as her grandparents are concerned, she's a master chef already. She intends to spend the summer baking and selling cupcakes with friends to raise money for a new bike. But when her family must suddenly go to Paris for the summer to visit ailing Aunt Sophie, Grace gets a rare -- and humbling -- chance to see her Uncle Bernard's French bakery in action. She quickly learns that her current skills won't pass muster in France and finds herself learning all over again, struggling to balance her impatience with her desire to be the best, while also fighting to win over her French cousin Sylvie (Eloise Webb). When Grace gets home, her friends aren't as excited to hear everything she's learned as she thought they would be, nor is her grandparents' bakery doing well. To help solve the problem, she'll have to use everything she's learned so far while keeping cool under pressure.

Is it any good?

This movie is a whirlwind of ambition and positive lessons. Grace is a perfectionist who is driven to excellence, but she often gets in her own way by being impatient and too eager to do things just right. For type-A overachievers, this is a relatable story about slowing down, being willing to learn new things, and understanding that everyone has an important role on a team. Plus, there are some realistic conflicts with Grace's friends when they struggle to feel appreciated in the shadow of such an ambitious character.

At 102 minutes, An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success is a better story for slightly older elementary schoolers, who will need the attention span to get through a few changes in scenery and a funny, extended MasterChef Junior TV segment that's part of the third act. Plus, for some kids, Grace's relentless pep and drive might be a tad exhausting. But that's a quibble in a film that has a refreshing commitment to promoting girls as smart, headstrong leaders who are driven and fun -- even if it's all to market a doll.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Grace's ambition in An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success. How does her passion for baking inform her personality and choices? What are you passionate about?

  • Do you have to be a fan of American Girl dolls to enjoy this movie? Why, or why not?

  • What's the movie's message about ambition and taking criticism? How does Grace learn to improve her skills and work with others without letting her ego get in the way?

  • How do the characters in An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success demonstrate communication, perseverance, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love smart girls

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

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