Behaving Badly

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Behaving Badly Movie Poster Image
Raunchy high school comedy is a big disappointment.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No perceivable positive messages except the reminder that unprotected sex can lead to sexually transmitted diseases.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Except for Nina, who's book smart but has lousy taste in guys, there aren't any positive role models in the movie. Parents, teachers, principals, and priests are all terrible influences.

Violence

There are dead bodies, a mother who attempts suicide, mafia goons who threaten and chase, a fist fight and more. A series of teachers die.

Sex

Lots of nudity and sexual material, from extended scenes of topless dancers in a strip club to continued shots of a guy in boxers to discussions and scenes of high school-aged guys masturbating, references to erections, oral sex, anal sex, prison sex, and loss of virginity.

Language

Strong language is used in nearly every scene of the movie and includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "d--k," "p---y," "douchebags," "Jesus F--king Christ," and "motherf--ker."

Consumerism

Featured brands include cars like Mercedes Benz, Audi, and Aston Martin, plus Apple computers and Stoli Vodka.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Underage teens and adults drink to excess. Mrs. Stevens is an alcoholic and nearly overdoses on pills. Teens and adults take Ecstasy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while Behaving Badly -- a raunchy comedy with lots of shock humor -- centers on a high-school-aged protagonist, it's not appropriate for teens. There's tons of sexual content, including topless strippers, casual sex, relations between an adult woman and a teen boy, and references to masturbation, oral sex, orgasm, prostitution, and adultery. Constant strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and much more, and there's casual and excessive substance use and abuse, including an alcoholic mother who attempts suicide and teens and adults who use Ecstasy. Despite starring teen-friendly actors like Selena Gomez and Nat Wolff, this is definitely an adults-only comedy (assuming any are actually interested).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStudent of truth January 3, 2016

bad

i stoped wacthing my parents took it off the fisrt 10 minute it started with nudity
Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviefan7 November 3, 2014

haven't seen it

i haven't seen it. but look, if you gave your kid the talk, they can watch it. it's perfectly fine for teens. it's what a lot of us do.
Teen, 14 years old Written byelvirapizza November 5, 2014

Awesome movie.

Yes, it involves drugs. And sex, swearing and violence. No, it isn't gonna make your kids do all of that. I'm 14, and sure, this movie is slightly gro... Continue reading

What's the story?

Rick Stevens (Nat Wolff) is in love with classmate Nina Pennington (Selena Gomez), but he stupidly makes a $1000 bet that he can bed her in a matter of two weeks. As he attempts to woo Nina, who has a possessive ex-boyfriend, Rick is drawn into an unwise sexual relationship with his best friend's mom (also his mom's best friend), Mrs. Bender (Elisabeth Shue), and deals with his dysfunctional family: his alcoholic, pill-popping mother (Mary-Louise Parker), his sex-addict father (Cary Elwes), and his Stanford-bound stripper of a sister (Ashley Rickards). With help from his dim-witted best friend, Billy (Lachlan Buchanan), Rick tries to sort out pursuing Nina and dodging Mrs. Bender's demands.

Is it any good?

Writer-director Tim Garrick's feature debut isn't anything new, envelope-pushing, or even funny. It's an hour and a half of wishing the cast had chosen a better film project. Let's remember Wolff for his fabulous performance as Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars, not this ridiculous role that's sure to add nothing to his career.

While some edgy comedies manage to rise above their crude jokes and graphic sexual content to at least have a compelling story (The To-Do List) or hilarious performances (This Is the End), this raunchy teen tale is a big disappointment and a surprising waste of the talented cast. There are no redeeming qualities to the production, even though it clearly seeks to be one of those "shocking" comedies that revels in the amount of sex and drug-fueled shenanigans the characters get up to, like losing it to your best friend's hot mom or accepting free sexual favors from a dodgy stripper.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of sex and substance use in Behaving Badly. Are there any realistic consequences for all of the questionable behavior here? What message does that send?

  • Do you think celebrities who start out acting in kids' programming have a responsibility to be careful with their career choices? Why do you think young actors are so keen to distance themselves from their "child star" pasts?

  • Who's the target audience of this movie? How can you tell?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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