A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While Lane nearly loses everything she's worked for -- both personally and professionally -- when her many lies catch up with her, she learns her lesson about toying with others' trust and emotions and finds that it's impossible to go wrong when you follow your heart. Some iffy messages about a woman's need for a man are part of the story.
Positive Role Models
Lane is smart, professional, and driven to succeed, often at the expense of those around her. She sets aside others' feelings in her efforts to date as many guys as possible in a short time. Her actions prove she's willing to do anything to follow her dream, though she does learn -- in the end -- that being realistic and flexible about those dreams is the key to true happiness.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of passionate kissing, and an implied sexual encounter (the guy leaves the woman's apartment the next morning), but nothing is shown. Characters make frequent references to sex, including talking about where they've had sex, whom they'd like to have sex with, and the desire to "get laid." Men and women comment on each other's appeal, calling individuals "sexy," and "hot," and checking out butts.
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Marginal language like "ass," "butt," "freakin'," "bastard," and "hell" are used intermittently. "Oh my God" is a common phrase.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking -- beer, champagne, and mixed beverages -- is central to any social gathering, but no one suffers ill effects from it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this TV movie is littered with sexual references in all forms, from passionate kissing to chats about previous sexual encounters, and in one case, the implication of a short-term partner's overnight stay (though nothing beyond making out is shown). The main character's mission to date as many guys as possible has iffy messages for teens about responsible relationships. Sporadic language ("hell" and "ass," mostly) is another concern, but none of this is probably new to the teen viewers the movie is geared toward. The main character lies and deceives her coworkers for the sake of her article, but the eventual exposure of her actions forces her to take responsibility for what she's done. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Mature teens shouldn't have a problem putting the movie's frequent sexual references, language, and adult drinking into context, but this same content makes it inappropriate for tweens. Similarly, teens can reconcile Lane's self-motivated behavior (embellishing her qualifications to get a job, and dating coworkers without regard to their feelings, for example) and recognize the personal journey she makes toward happiness.
Based on the book Diary of a Working Girl by Daniella Brodsky, BEAUTY AND THE BRIEFCASE stars a very grown-up Duff, who really delights in her role as an ambitious writer and hopeless romantic who often finds these two sides of herself at odds with each other. Lane's evolution from a career-driven diva to someone who's willing to compromise for love is a good reminder that happiness falls in the balance between two people's ideas of perfection.
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.
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