Fast Girl

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Fast Girl Movie Poster Image
Fairly wholesome racing movie with death of a parent.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Fast Girl's overall takeaway is about the transformative power of perseverance and believing in people, and giving them a chance to prove themselves. It's also about facing the things that can hold you back in life, such as old wounds, longstanding fears, or societal messages that you aren't good enough. A main character "borrows" cars by pretending to be a valet, without consequence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alexis is a determined, if rebellious, young woman who never loses focus on her goals. Her uncle Bill is a protective, caring presence in her life. Maddie is a caring friend who stands up for Alexis. Darryl is a sensitive, genuine, and respectful young man.

Violence

A key plot point in the movie is the loss and violent death of a parent, which is shown when main character Alexis recalls her father's death in a fiery crash on the racetrack via flashback.

Sex

In a minor scene, a man and woman kiss.

Language

The movie has a few instances of cursing: "damn" and "jackass."

Consumerism

Car makes and models are discussed frequently in the film, and the race cars feature advertisements for car, tire, and oil manufacturers, however, these placements primarily function to realistically recreate an authentic racing culture. Budweiser beers are also featured prominently in one scene. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one scene, a woman goes to a bar and orders a few beers, and is shown tipsy at the end of the night, slurring her speech.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fast Girl centers heavily on, and opens with, the violent death of a parent. This is shown in flashback and is discussed throughout the movie. There is a minor scene involving a female adult drinking at a bar, who is later shown to be tipsy. The film also deals with several instances of sexism and prejudice toward women's capabilities, and the main character is known for "borrowing" fast cars by pretending to be a valet so she can sneak in racing practice -- this is shown without consequence.

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What's the story?

Alexis (Mircea Monroe) is a headstrong aspiring race car driver bent on proving herself in a male-dominated sport. But with the death of her father behind the wheel, and a protective uncle (and local speedway owner) standing in her way, she'll have to work even harder to face her fears and earn her racing license.

Is it any good?

FAST GIRL offers little in the way of surprises, but it's a pleasant, largely wholesome movie about racing. It has a mostly admirable female character whose determination presents a nice counter to the tired, predictable, sexism of racing culture. The film's premise of a father's death as the reason behind the main character's hangups on the track makes this story more suitable for older kids. Plus, there's a bar scene where drinking turns a character tipsy which may warrant further discussion.

Kids will enjoy the racing action and fast cars, and teen girls may appreciate watching a back-talking young woman best her male detractors. Parents who like racing may find the cars and action a perfectly passable distraction for a family comedy, in no small part because of the surprise acting chops of American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini in the role of fellow race car driver Darryl.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about women in sports. How are women portrayed when they try to succeed in sports or fields that usually attract men? Women drivers such as Danica Patrick are making great strides in racing today. How are they portrayed in the media? Which female athletes do you admire?

  • Have you ever been told or felt like you couldn't do something you really wanted to do because of your gender? Where do you think you got that message from? How did you handle it?

  • Go online to learn about how race car drivers train for competition.

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