A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The long-term impact of bullies and bullying is at the core of the movie, including the danger of becoming a bully as a way to revenge past hurts. Be yourself. Take pride in your accomplishments and your friendships. Don't define yourself through the eyes of others. Values promoted: forgiveness, empathy, and self confidence.
Positive Role Models
Main characters have been damaged by their victimization at the hands of middle school bullies. Only at the film's conclusion do they resolve their issues, forgive, and fully move forward with their lives. In the meantime, they lose sight of their own ethics and behave as badly as their tormentors. Homosexuality is the butt of jokes; others defend gay folks. Fat shaming. Ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Action (much of it slapstick) includes: scuffling, bullying, vandalism of car, gang menace, threats of violence (including with a knife). No injuries.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references, jokes, conversations (masturbation, oral sex, homosexuality). Kissing (same sex, opposite sex -- some of it exaggeratedly messy. A couple is seen having sex through an open doorway (no nudity).
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Top to bottom raunchiness: all manner of profanity (i.e., "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," "fag," "bastard," "c--k") and other vulgarities (i.e., a dog poop gag, "blow job," "crappers," "testicles," "get laid," middle finger salute, peeing on car, male organs are sketched).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Much drinking and drunkenness; hash and marijuana are ingested.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that aka Back to School (aka La Grande Classe) is a French slapstick comedy with English subtitles about two successful tech entrepreneurs who go to their middle school reunion to get back at the bullies who tormented them. It's a movie filled with exaggerated characters, over-the-top situations, and crude behavior as 30-something adults revert to juvenile high jinx and raunchiness. Language and sight gags are coarse throughout: insults ("nerd," "fag"), obscenities ("d--k," "c--k, "f--k"), cursing ("s--t," "bastard"), along with talk about masturbation, oral sex, and slurs about homosexuality (others refute those slurs). Kissing (same sex, opposite sex, and sloppy) occurs; a fully-clothed couple is glimpsed having sex through an open door. Drugs and alcohol take center stage in numerous scenes: shots, drunkenness, hashish, marijuana. Despite the crassness of the film, there are some astute notions about redemption, forgiveness, and being one's authentic self. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
In this alternately farcical and insightful movie, Chess Club Nerds meet the Cool Knuckleheads again -- and sadly all of them have lived up to the expectations that defined them when they were kids. Back to School, a hybrid of raucous, intoxicated/stoned behavior and sexual jokes combined with an astute look at "grown-ups" who've aged 20 years without maturing, is a reminder of adolescence at its worst. However, by the story's end some of the characters have at least a modicum of awareness. Netflix offers a "dubbed" English translation of the movie, as well as the preferred subtitled version.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.