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Careful What You Wish For
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Careful What You Wish For is a sometimes-racy thriller about a high school student (Nick Jonas) who gets involved with his wealthy neighbor's wife (Isabel Lucas) and soon finds himself embroiled in more than he expected. While there are plenty of scenes that show the pair passionately kissing and in bed (and other places) together, there's little nudity onscreen beyond her naked backside. She also wears skimpy swimsuits, etc. A dead body must be disposed of, teens drink beer, and one character smokes; there's some language, too (mostly "s--t" and the like). Some viewers may be bothered by the stereotypes the movie buys into regarding high school boys and older women, as well as attractive younger women and the older men they marry.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
High school student Doug (Nick Jonas) gets involved with his wealthy neighbor's attractive young wife, Lena (Isabel Lucas). And when her husband (Dermot Mulroney) turns up dead, Doug soon becomes involved in much more than he expected. While Lena is poised to collect a huge life-insurance payout, Doug realizes that all signs make him look like the killer -- so he must try to clear his name.
Is it any good?
There's little that's a mystery in the purposefully mysterious Careful What You Wish For -- and there's also very little that's original. "You have no idea what he's capable of," says one character. (Actually, yes, we do.) Equally troubling is the film's sexism; it relies on cliches about high school boys and older women, as well as attractive younger women and the older men they marry. Jonas is a sort-of bright spot -- although the material leaves much to be desired, he shows some promise with his fairly grounded (if muted) portrayal of Doug.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Careful What You Wish For compares to other thrillers with similar themes. What makes them thrilling? Does a film have to be violent to have tension?
Did you notice any cliches and/or stereotypes in the movie about older women and younger men? And about younger women married to older men?
What do you think Lena is trying to accomplish? Is it a good plan? Could Doug have made better choices?