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

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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
Language
Consumerism

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

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old December 30, 2015

Amazing!

The only reason I put 8 and up is because there is some French and it may be hard to understand. If there was no French I would have put 6 and up. This is a gre... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 15, 2016
This movie set's a bad example like they're not wearing helmets while riding bikes. And when grace is trying to close the oven it keep on falling down... 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

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