Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Damsels in Distress

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Wry college comedy may go over young teens' head.

Movie PG-13 2012 99 minutes
Damsels in Distress Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Dull movie with uncomfortable sexual references.

The movie is a little slow but has some good parts. There was some objectionable language. The biggest issue was the sexuality. There is two scenes where anal sex is discussed although not in graphic terms. This may be uncomfortable to watch with kids in their early teens. The deleted scenes on the disc feature several scenes that make this particular topic even more uncomfortable.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Director Whit Stillman's comedies are like a mix of the dialogue-heavy humor in Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, or Alexander Payne films. There's not much that happens in DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, but through all of the beguiling characters' hyper-articulate conversations, the audience grows to love them, even as they laugh at how earnest and naive and misguided they are most of the time. Indie darling Gerwig steals the show with her portrayal of caring but narcissistic Violet, whose dreams include starting an international dance craze (stay tuned for the credits) and overcoming campus body odor one perfumed bar of soap at a time.

But all of the four central girls are fabulous in this whimsical comedy. Echikunwoke is especially hilarious as a very English voice of reason who loves to judge guys as "operators" and who's so sensitive to smells that she routinely passes out when a rank group of guys walks past. Tipton, who had a small but pivotal role in Crazy, Stupid, Love as the smitten babysitter, enjoys a breakout role as the group's newcomer. She falls in love with cool Frenchman Xavier (Hugo Becker), whose odd religious beliefs require him to "express his love" in an eyebrow-raising manner. Fans of talky, quirky comedies will find Damsels in Distress delightful, whereas those who prefer Old School-type college flicks may wonder why anyone is laughing.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate