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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Change can be both difficult and good. Friends and loyalty mean everything.
Positive Role Models
Bruno's default mode is scheming and pranking. He'd rather find a way to play a trick on someone than study, and his penchant for involving all his friends in his plans tends to get them in trouble. Boots is a loyal friend who tempers Bruno's impulses.
Violence & Scariness
An African king sends uniformed troops to "rescue" his son, the young prince, who ran away to have fun at Macdonald Hall. Rival students put pudding in Bruno and Boots' lacrosse helmets. Others spike the water with hot sauce.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young scientist's specimen of skunk pheromones causes multitudes of local skunks to congregate in the dorms, presumably to mate.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bruno and Boots: This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall is a Canadian comedy aimed at tweens and is based on the Bruno and Boots young adult book series by popular Canadian author Gordon Korman. Youthful hijinks and scheming are the main preoccupation of a cast of quirky students at a seemingly prim Canadian boys' boarding school, which is presided over by a frustrated but kind headmaster. His frustration leads him to separate the title characters, two of the biggest pranksters. A young prince from a far-off nation has been observing the school's fun-filled atmosphere online and runs away from home, setting off an international incident that threatens the school's survival. Students range from junior high to high school, but no sex, language, or drug use is displayed. Language includes "nuts." A young scientist's specimen of skunk pheromones causes multitudes of local skunks to congregate in the dorms, presumably to mate. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This Bruno and Boots is a mildly amusing comedy, a step up from the series' earlier installment, Bruno and Boots: Go Jump in the Pool. The same cast, by now seemingly having an even better time working together than in the previous movie, are more at home in their roles. The mugging and overacting of the first movie has settled down, making this over-the-top comedy easier to enjoy. As in the previous installment, Peter Keleghan, in a role that requires seriousness and silliness, is delightful as the school's earnest, sweet headmaster and Caroline Rhea as Miss Scrimmage, the touchy-feely headmistress of the nearby girls' school, is a satisfying foil, occasionally coaxing the resistant Sturgeon into bursts of spontaneity. When a dance is suggested to promote friendship between the girls' and boys' schools, the headmaster objects to what he calls "movement" and "co-mingling," a "forced gathering meant to prevent enmity." Yet Miss Scrimmage gets him to boogie down nevertheless.
Jonny Gray as Bruno remains an energetic and likable performer in This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. From the bacon-and-cheddar smoothies Bruno likes to the wealthy roommate whose quarters look more like the stock exchange than a dorm suite, plenty of imaginative oddities add up to make this a decent fictional take on over-privileged prep school life. You can tell this is all a complete fantasy, as none of the kids spend their waking hours staring into cell phones.
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.