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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages of compassion, gratitude, teamwork. Find ways to honor lost loved ones. Be honest with those who accept you for who you are.
Positive Role Models
Victor is nice, a good friend, passionate about his work. Dylan is still in pain from the death of her mother, but she opens up and falls in love with dance again. Everyone else seems kind and supportive, loving and accepting.
Many queer roles, men in feminine drag, primarily, are featured. But story focuses on a cisgender, straight White woman and her sadness rather than, for example, on Victor or Tommy La Diva. Both are far more interesting, and each of their histories and experiences are only hinted at. Further, supporting cast dancers are almost indistinguishable from one other, outside of body type. While some jealousy issues pop up along with an understandably hurt reaction to Dylan's reveal, each supporting character is very similar.
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Violence & Scariness
A young woman mourns the loss of her mother. Occasional flashbacks show her gaunt, in a hospital bed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young man makes a suggestive comment toward his stepsister. A few romantic kisses between adults. For some viewers, parts of the dancing could be viewed as sensual or a little sexual in nature. Some song lyrics get explicit: "nipples hard from head to toe ... " and "make me wet everywhere."
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Strong language throughout includes "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "bitch," "fairy," "God" (as an exclamation), "damn," and "hell."
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Products & Purchases
McDonald's is mentioned. Dame Edna and Bob Dylan are briefly discussed. Robert Fux has a cameo as himself.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A young man is drunk and stumbles into things. Adults drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dancing Queens is an uplifting Swedish drama about a young woman who has recently lost her mother. They shared a love of dance and particularly disco, but since her mother's passing, Dylan's life has stagnated. Soon, however, she finds herself in the city hoping for an audition. Instead, what she finds is a group of drag queen dancers who are in dire need of help. Dylan hits it off with the choreographer, and soon they concoct a plan to get Dylan dancing in the group, even though she's a woman. Expect lots of dance numbers, prominent song lyrics that can be sexual in nature, and lots of strong language, including "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "bitch," "fairy," and "hell," and "God" as an exclamation. Adults kiss romantically and talk about relationships, and a stepbrother awkwardly proposes to his stepsister. Adults drink alcohol, and a man is shown stumbling around and behaving quite drunk during one scene. Adults also smoke cigarettes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's a lot to like about this Swedish movie, but some choices hold it back. Dancing Queens has a lot going for it (solid acting, fun dance numbers, a happy and supportive cast featuring queer roles), but it falls short in a number of ways. Certainly, there's a degree of charm, humor, and positivity about the film. It has heart and is working toward a more accepting world. Early on, main character Dylan calls out another man's sexist comment about his wife enjoying being in the kitchen. Later, a young man comes out to his parents, who react supportively. People are open to learning. And there's no conflict.
The movie means well, as does Dylan, but it also doesn't do anything to really push the genre to new and/or interesting places, nor does it really say anything about drag culture, drag representation, or gender generally, and for some, it could feel a bit touristy. While Dylan's secret does lead to a very brief commentary about the overall performativity of gender, the exploration is shallow. To be clear, Dylan, a cisgender, straight White woman, pretends to be a man who also identifies as a drag queen. This film is completely Dylan's story, and the other dancers are only supporting characters who immediately like Dylan and back her only, it seems, because she can dance. This speaks to how there arguably isn't enough difference in the supporting cast of dancers, both in conception and in performance. Another way this manifests is in how little drama there actually is in this film. Everyone is nice, supportive, happy (except for Dylan), encouraging, understanding, and accepting of Dylan. Which brings up another point: Beyond Dylan's incredible dance skills, what about her exactly is so attractive? She's gloomy, sullen, quiet, and odd, and it isn't exactly clear why everyone thinks she's so great.
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.