A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is a good deal of drinking by teens in this movie. Both Nicole and Chase react to setbacks by getting drunk at parties. The kids' attitude seems to be that as long as they have a designated driver, there is no reason kids should not drink. Nicole is also betrayed by a friend, who tells Brian that he should be interested in her because she is willing to have sex with him. Later, Nicole insults her by calling her "easy." A drunken boy attempts to force his intentions on a girl, and, when she refuses, he is abusive and insulting. While there are other sexual references, the behavior of the kids is limited to some romantic kissing. One character arranges a real-life encounter with a cyber-date.
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What's the story?
In DRIVE ME CRAZY, high school seniors Nicole (Melissa Joan Hart) and her next-door-neighbor/childhood pal Chase (Adrian Grenier) now travel in different crowds. She loves to cheer on the school basketball team and is planning the school's 100th anniversary dance. Chase is a rebel, protesting the mindless conformity of his classmates, too cool to support anything at school. When Nicole is unsuccessful in getting basketball star Brian to the big dance and Chase is dumped by his girlfriend Dulcie, they agree to pretend to be dating to see if they can make their respective heartthrobs jealous. Nicole gives Chase a makeover at Gap, and then they each visit the other's turf. They are surprised to find themselves enjoying each other's environments and friends and enjoying each other. It turns out that they're the ones who get jealous when Brian and Dulcie take the bait.
Is it any good?
If a sitcom episode from the TGIF line-up were crossed with an MTV commercial, you'd get Drive Me Crazy. It's a genial half-hour story stretched out to movie length through the insertion of lots and lots of music for the 11- 16 crowd, who will line up to buy the soundtrack album. It is no coincidence that the name of the movie was changed to the name of Britney Spears' current hit song.
While the plot would fit into an old episode of Gidget and the film lacks subtlety and insight, it is undeniably fun to watch. Grenier, in particular, has real charm. This movie also addresses real issues about the tendency of high school kids to categorize themselves according to clearly defined extremes and to stick with friends who reinforce their interests, attitudes, and appearance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the issue of cliques and snobbery in school, the importance of feeling liked for what one considers most important about oneself, the dangers of trying to manipulate others, and the difficulty of living with a single parent. One character arranges a real-life encounter with a cyber-date -- is this ever ok and what dangers exist in meeting an online contact in person?
For kids who love stories about teens
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