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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie tells us that "All it takes is 10 seconds of stupid to ruin your life." But the story's action suggests the opposite: that people are resilient and that seemingly large mistakes can be useful learning experiences that put people who might be heading in the wrong direction back on track.
Positive Role Models
Naive Monroe falls under Zeke's spell, enthralled with the older guy's good-time, drug-infused slacker life -- a stark contrast to the straight and narrow of Monroe's caring parents.
Violence & Scariness
A 16-year-old boy smoking weed drives his car into a ditch and abandons it. The police find it the next morning and threaten him. An angry father punches his teen son.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young woman is seen after sex in a car with her childhood boyfriend. A teen boy reports to friends that he kissed a girl with lots of tongue and she rubbed against his penis. He later has sex with a friend's ex-girlfriend off screen. A high school sophomore asks a friend to bring condoms to a party.
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Tons of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," "jerk off," "p---y," "bitch," "ass," "d--k," "penis," the "'N' word" (heard in a song lyric), "pissed," "sucks," "hell," and "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Multiple scenes of underage drinking at teen parties. A 16-year-old boy is encouraged to drink so much by older guys that he falls over and vomits. He drinks a combination of whisky, orange juice, cough syrup, and beer. The drug Molly is mentioned, along with its purported benefits in combination with having sex. The same 16-year-old boy sells weed and alcohol to older high school kids in order to get invited to their party. A 23-year-old quits his job when he starts getting a 16-year-old to sell weed for him. After Monroe is grounded for coming home stoned, his older friend urges him to ignore his parents and sneak out to deliver alcohol and drugs to a party. A 16-year-old boy smoking weed drives his car into a ditch and abandons it. A man snorts cocaine in a bar bathroom. Monroe turns down drugs until he's trapped in a car with Zeke and a friend. They close the windows and fill the car with marijuana smoke, which gets Monroe high.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Big Time Adolescence, like The Edge of Seventeen, is a mature coming-of-age comedy. It centers on 16-year-old Monroe (Griffin Gluck), who starts making poor choices under the influence of stunted slacker Zeke (Pete Davidson), who used to be Monroe's older sister's boyfriend. Zeke gives Monroe alcohol and marijuana and later sets the teen up to sell drugs at parties thrown by older high school kids. Teens drink, smoke pot (sometimes while driving), and talk about drugs. A man snorts cocaine in a bar bathroom. A teen drives his car into a ditch and abandons it, and an angry father punches his teen son. Language includes frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "p---y" and "d--k." A teen boy reports to friends that he kissed a girl with lots of tongue and she rubbed against his penis. He later loses his virginity to a friend's ex-girlfriend offscreen. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It can be hard to watch a good kid make so many terrible decisions, but under the capable direction of Jason Orley, that's the movie's strength -- it makes us care. Big Time Adolescence's script presents the older Zeke with understanding and even affection, almost admiring his completely uncensored and uncalculating ways. Zeke's drug-induced irresponsibility is clear but, in this compassionate view, it doesn't rule out forgiveness for harming Monroe, a kid he really likes. Davidson is perfect as the fast-talking trainwreck of a human who's as easy to like as he is to dislike and pity. Davidson makes us believe that all that irresponsibility doesn't erase the good in Zeke.
Nevertheless, as the film ends, a clever camera angle suggests that Monroe will grow out of Zeke's influence and leave the eternally adolescent friend behind. And it's noteworthy that although the female roles here are peripheral, all of the girls portrayed are self respecting and far too smart to continue with oblivious guys who insist on playing games.
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.