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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A character fails to help a girl he impregnated. Friends clash.
Violence & Scariness
A locker room scuffle is quickly defused. A pot of hot coffee is thrown at a would-be convenience store robber.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A girl takes her bikini top off in a fantasy sequence, masturbation, depictions of male/female intercourse, an abortion.
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Some strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke marijuana onscreen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fast Times at Ridgemont High explores several issues involved with being a teenager. Sex is a major topic of the film. There are several scenes of semi-nudity (topless girls) and frank discussions between characters about sex. Featured in the film is a fifteen-year-old girl becoming pregnant and having an abortion, simulated oral sex using produce, and a male character masturbating. The film treats the topic of sex seriously, though, and does not glorify or advocate casual sex. There is also a significant amount of drug use, as one of the main characters attends class frequently under the influence of marijuana, and smokes it on-screen, however, with consequences. There is some strong language. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's easy for movies to exaggerate or misinterpret teen life, but Fast Times does not. Crowe posed as a high school student while researching his book and it shows. Issues such as peer pressure, clashes with teachers at school, and the sheer boredom of after-school jobs are portrayed with humor and even-handedness. Problems are neither black nor white. Actions have consequences, (although, not in an after school special kind of way). Both Crowe and Director Amy Heckerling show genuine respect for their characters and refuse to belabor obvious points about life, love and growing up; instead letting the viewer make up their own minds.
Fast Times might appeal to girls in the tween set. However, parents should know that adult themes concerning drugs and sexuality featured in the film make it inappropriate for children under sixteen. Parents might want to view the film separately from their teens (for fear of embarrassment on both sides).
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.