A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a review of the PG-13-rated version of the movie and not the unrated DVD. Expect to find even more adult content in the unrated DVD. This crude comedy about two lust-driven teen boys is full of boundary-pushing sex and language content. The main characters are surrounded by -- and happily ogle -- hundreds of girls clad in the shortest of shorts and tiniest of bikinis. Boys are shown naked from both the back and front (private parts are covered by towels, etc. in the latter case). Though actual physical contact is limited to kissing and a few scenes of "grab ass," the characters are constantly talking and thinking about "hooking up." Not surprisingly then, the language can get vulgar and sexist -- and it's also peppered with "s--t" and the like. Underage characters drink, and there's some same-sex kissing and fondling; many of the gay characters are played very stereotypically, though it's all meant to be funny rather than disrespectful.
What's the story?
Shawn (Nicholas D'Agosto) and Nick (Eric Christian Olsen) are the cutest (and cockiest and most lecherous) football heroes in their high school. They conspire to ditch their summer football program so they can join three hundred teen girls at cheerleading camp instead. Their dreams come true, but over the course of the movie they also encounter the joy and pain of first love; unexpected friendships with spirited, larger-than-life characters; and a lesson in the art of giving instead of taking.
Is it any good?
FIRED UP is actually a fairly clever teen comedy in spots. That's if you can get past the strong language, some amateurish acting, a first-time director (Will Gluck) who's far from sure-handed when it comes to the camera, and cheerleading routines that are clumsily shot and show little pizazz. It's a movie about acting dumb and exhibiting outrageous behavior, but it's always self-aware of its outlandishness.
D'Agosto and Olsen are consistently adorable and aware of their own ridiculousness, and they have impressive comic timing and delivery. Also appealing are supporting actors David Walton, Adhir Kalyan, and John Michael Higgins (in the requisite role of the adult buffoon). They're all obviously having fun with their over-the-top performances and the movie's broad tone. Fired Up may not be a teen classic, but it has its moments.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the consequences of the characters' behavior. Is there any fall-out from their drinking or obsession with sex in the movie? Would there be stronger consequences in the real world?
How would you describe the filmmakers' attitude toward the boys' behavior? What role does Carly play in clarifying that attitude?
Unlike in many other sports movies with underdog heroes, the Tigers don't win the cheerleading competition. What does the movie say about winning, losing, and doing your best?
- In theaters: February 20, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: June 9, 2009
- Cast: Eric Christian Olsen, Nicholas D'Agosto, Sarah Roemer
- Director: Will Gluck
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying
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