Can't Buy Me Love
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has some strong language that gets thrown around in a casual way. There is not much onscreen nudity, but a lot of sexual references and some crude jokes and comments about sexuality. The premise of the movie involves a popular girl dating a nerdy boy for money, and there are some references to prostitution. There are a few scenes where high school age kids drink, with no consequences from authority figures. A main character, a good student, starts to ignore his studies and suffers no consequences. There are few speaking roles for minorities, and a heavy reliance on stereotypes for the plot development (a nerd/ cool kid rivalry).
What's the story?
CAN'T BUY ME LOVE is a teen romantic comedy about Ronald (Patrick Dempsey), a high school senior who has been filling the role of hard-working student all of his life. He has a group of close friends, and a supportive family, but he longs to be accepted by the popular crowd, headed by his lovely next-door neighbor, Cindy (Amanda Peterson). When Cindy finds herself in dire need of $1000, Ronald offers her a deal: He will pay her the money if she pretends to date him for a month. She agrees and soon Ronald is the toast of the popular set. All the girls want to date him, all the boys want to be like him, and Cindy starts to warm to him. From the outset, Ronald's popularity presents problems as well as privileges: He leaves his old friends behind, he starts to do badly in his classes, and as his personality changes, Cindy becomes disillusioned, and their budding friendship dissolves. It's only when his ploy is exposed that Ronald can start to think about the cost of playing any role, nerd or cool kid, and being anything other than what he really is.
Is it any good?
Teenagers that are in high school will have little tolerance for the simplified version of their social lives, and parents might object to younger children watching due to language and issues of sexuality. There are a few charming moments, though, especially as Cindy and Ronald become friends.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how people deal with loneliness, popularity, and the demands of both. How do people "sell" themselves? The value of being true to yourself is a main theme of the movie. What does being true to yourself require?