A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Drake & Josh Go Hollywood is likely a big draw for fans of the Nickelodeon series, but the fact that it presents unrealistically rosy outcomes to serious predicaments befalling tweens and teens should raise some parents' eyebrows. The main characters find themselves at various moments alone in an unfamiliar city, abducted by hardened criminals, and facing possible arrest for stealing a car, and at no point do they turn to parents or authority figures for help. Happily for them, everything turns out OK, but what your kids will see is favorite TV personalities charming their way out of serious trouble with wit, their parents' credit card, and, in one case, a bagful of counterfeit cash. They'll also notice one of the teens kissing women (yep, in the plural) he's just met, and they'll hear numerous uses of the word "boob," a younger sister's insult of choice for her siblings.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
DRAKE & JOSH GO HOLLYWOOD is a 2006 made-for-TV movie centering on the characters of the popular Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh. The story starts with the stepbrothers' parents' departure for a 10-day cruise, leaving the guys in charge of getting their younger sister, Megan (Miranda Cosgrove), on a flight to Denver to stay with a friend. When a mishap sends Megan to Los Angeles instead, Drake (Drake Bell) and Josh (Josh Peck) hop a plane to find her, but a chance encounter lands the guys in hot water with a ring of counterfeiters and turns Megan into the unlikely rescue hero. Meanwhile, Josh lands a big break in the music industry for Drake and his band, but can the guys escape their captors, return a celebrity's stolen car, and make it to the studio in time for a live TV appearance?
Is it any good?
Drake & Josh Go Hollywood's surreal predicaments make for big laughs for kids whose comic radars aren't bogged down by the story's overall improbability. It won't matter to them that in the real world, the teens couldn't have flown the friendly skies without credit cards and multiple forms of ID or that 11-year-old Megan would have been snatched up by Child Protective Services the minute she de-boarded without an escort. These oversights don't play on kids' minds when the movie makes the characters' apparently limitless freedom seem so enticing.
But while there's nothing inherently damaging about make-believe, the subliminal messages your kids get from this particular content are far from great. If these characters' experiences are to be believed, then it's good logic for a tween girl to trust a series of strangers rather than to drop a grudge against her brothers or contact her parents; using your family's "emergency only" credit card for a swanky hotel suite and limousine transportation is justifiable if you can place the blame on your siblings; and the repercussions of grand theft auto depends on the car owner's sense of humor. The bottom line? This movie is good for a few laughs for Drake & Josh, but it makes no attempt to bridge the gap between fantasy and real life for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about safety and handling emergencies. Kids: Do you know what to do if you get lost? Whom can you trust for help? What information should you know for times like these?
Kids: How important is it to you that TV shows or movies reflect real life in some way? How does watching TV help you relax? What shows have you seen that make you think about things in a new way?
How do the characters' relationships compare to yours within your family? Can you relate to Megan's frustration with her brothers? What are some common issues that arise between you and your siblings?
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