A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The messaging is more targeted to parents and guardians rather than kids. There is an emphasis on building relationships based on respect rather than control.
Positive Role Models
Philippe is a celebrated professor in Boston who returns to Paris each summer to visit his 15-year-old daughter, Eglantine. Eglantine is strong-willed and has a good group of friends. She is portrayed as being level-headed despite the chaos around her. Philippe loses his temper with Eglantine and slaps her. But he soon learns he has to change, not her. There is some diversity among Eglantine's friends. A woman with no hair is portrayed as less attractive when she removes her wig. Characters use cellphones while driving.
Violence & Scariness
A father slaps his daughter during an argument. During fantasy sequences, comic violence includes characters dueling with guns, a character electrocuting another in a homage to Frankenstein, and blood splattering after an imagined murder. Someone jumps from a window during a fire alarm in a comic sequence. Another incident of a character slapping someone's face. Armed police point guns at a character. A crowd throws bottles at someone. Reference to rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A father's mistrust of his daughter's growing sexuality is a key theme. He spots her thong which he calls "slutty" and disproves of her pierced navel. At a party, teens slow dance, grope each other, and make out. Two pictures of naked breasts are shown on a website of erotic stories, read and written by teen characters, that include a story of sex with a teacher. Two men in wigs simulate sex as part of a class. An adult woman appears in her bra after a scientific experiment causes body hair growth. A radio talk show for teens discusses oral sex, sodomy, and sex with multiple partners. A fictional band in the movie is called "Black Sperm."
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Language includes "s--t," "jerk," "bastard," "crap," "piss," "bitch," "goddamn," and "ass." Sexual language includes "p---y," "hard-on," "screwing," "grope," and "slut."
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Products & Purchases
Multiple brands and products are visible or mentioned including Coke, Viagra, eBay, Nutella, Corona, J&B, iPod, and Heineken. An Emily the Strange door poster is visible in multiple scenes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
During a house party, teens smoke cigarettes and a joint, and drink alcohol. Cocaine is mentioned by a character and a character is offered ecstasy and acid at a rave. An adult smokes cannabis as part of a class.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Daddy Cool (originally titled 15 ans et demi ...) is a French comedy, with English subtitles and frank discussions around teen sexuality, strong language, and some violence. The movie's message is a sweet one of mutual understanding between a father and a daughter. The way it gets there though might not be to everyone's taste. Eglantine (Juliette Lamboley) is a 15-year-old girl whose father, Phillipe (Daniel Auteuil), works overseas and only visits for the summer. At first shocked and angry at her teen interest in exploring sexuality, he tries to control her -- at one point hitting her. During this scene, she retaliates by shouting out the window, "Help, police, rape!" Outrageous humor runs throughout the movie, which is tongue in cheek and farcical. Teen sexuality is a key plot point. Teens kiss at a party, discuss sex, and read an erotic website written by a classmate. The website features photos of breasts. There is profanity throughout the movie, including "s--t" and "bastard," as well as sexual language such as "p---y," "hard-on," and "slut." Fantasy sequences that are played for laughs include pistol duels and electrocution. Drugs and alcohol are consumed by teens at a house party and an adult smokes cannabis. The movie is based on a French novel by Vincent Ravalec. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Rather than trying to delicately balance emotional moments with its surreal comedy, this French farce blunders through in such a bullish fashion it emerges triumphant through sheer force of will. Daddy Cool is ridiculous in parts, very funny in others, and at its heart, is a moving story about a father learning to respect his daughter for who she is and who she's becoming. Among that is another sweet teen love story, a hair scientist sub-plot, and a hilarious father training camp. Arguably some scenes are in bad taste -- Philippe slapping his daughter for example. But in the context of this fast-paced, often silly movie, it just about gets away with it.
Auteuil manages to make errant father Philippe likable, or at least enjoyable, whatever terrible things he's up to. Just as strong opposite him is Lamboley, as his teen daughter, Eglantine. She's just the right amount of unsure of herself around boys as she is headstrong at home. The movie's masterstroke is laying the blame for the breakdown in relations at the feet of Philippe. He has to grow up and learn a lot to get to the level where he and his daughter can face the future together as adults. This is a journey many fathers might be familiar with, and while the dad boot camp Philippe attends is hilariously far-fetched, its lessons are solid grounding for a respectful relationship. For a coming-of-age movie that breaks away from the Hollywood archetype, Daddy Cool is a refreshing romp with a solid message.
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.
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