Au Pair 3: Adventure in Paradise

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Au Pair 3: Adventure in Paradise Movie Poster Image
Fun family movie has sweet messages for parents and kids.
  • G
  • 2009
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some mildly rebellious behavior as teens exert independence from their parents: Katie and Alex scheme to ditch the bodyguards their dad hired to protect them, Katie accidentally spends the night out with her new love interest, and Katie's best friend hides the truth about her identity. But ultimately, this pales in comparison to the strong positive messages about enduring family bonds and sticking together when things get tough.

Violence & Scariness

In one scene, a bodyguard crashes his scooter as he's chasing an elusive Katie through town, but he emerges from the scene no worse for the wear.

Sexy Stuff

Some flirting between teens culminates in a couple of kisses. In one instance, Katie accidentally falls asleep on the beach with a guy she's only recently met, but there's no hint of anything sexual.

Language

One instance of "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults plan to celebrate with champagne in one scene, but they get distracted and don't even open the bottle.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this family-friendly movie is totally age appropriate for older kids and tweens. Language is limited to one use of "damn," and despite two developing teen love interests, there's nothing more than a couple of kisses as a result. Teens do disregard their parents' rules a couple of times, but the circumstances will be relatable to tweens, and the characters' actions are mostly innocent (distracting hired bodyguards so they can enjoy a date in private, for instance). And it all pales in comparison to the movie's positive messages about family bonds.

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What's the story?

It's the start of summer, and the Caldwell family has a lot to celebrate. Katie (Katie Volding) has just finished her first year of college, and Alex (Jake Dinwiddie) has graduated from high school. With his kids fast approaching adulthood, business mogul Oliver (Gregory Harrison) and his wife -- the kids' ex-au pair, Jenny (Heidi Saban) -- decide they could use some quality bonding time, so they pack their personal jet and head for the beautiful Puerto Rican coast. Once there, though, the family discovers that togetherness isn't easily achieved amid distractions from work, bombshell revelations from friends, and -- in Katie's case -- a handsome local guy. But when Oliver faces a corporate crisis, his wife and kids must join forces to weather the storm and remind themselves of the importance of family ties.

Is it any good?

This is a surprisingly heartwarming story. AU PAIR 3: ADVENTURE IN PARADISE is the third in a series of movies that began when Jenny landed the job of au pair to widower Oliver's two children. Now they're married with a baby of their own, and they're leaning on each other to get through the uncharted waters of Katie and Alex's growing independence. The movie touches on many of the same themes that families of tweens and teens likely are experiencing themselves: teen rebellion (in the story it's fairly mild), respecting kids' need for space, worries about meeting parents' expectations, and establishing rules in romantic relationships.

While real-life teens might roll their eyes at the story's predictability and sanitized view take on life (the Caldwells are impossibly wealthy, which surely helps iron out many of their daily issues), tweens will overlook these shortcomings and absorb the messages about the enduring nature of family ties instead. The movie makes a genuine attempt to reflect real-life issues between parents and teens, and the virtual absence of iffy content makes it a worry-free choice for families.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how parents and kids communicate. Kids: How do you feel about the rules your parents set for you? Do they all seem fair? Are there any that don't seem that way? If so, which ones? How do you and your parents solve issues when they arise? Do you feel like you can talk to your parents about your problems or concerns? If not, what would make you more comfortable? Which other adults do you feel you can confide in?

Movie details

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