Flipped

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Flipped Movie Poster Image
Coming-of-age romance brings light touch to heavy themes.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 90 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 37 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

As it portrays a lopsided childhood romance's evolution from elementary school to middle school, the movie sends the message that substance trumps flash and character matters more than anything else.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both of the main characters are multi-dimensional, with both strengths and flaws, though Juli is much more self-assured and principled. She wants people to say what they mean and mean what they say; she values the environment and will fight for what she feels is right. Bryce is more responsive to others' criticisms, pretending to agree when he doesn't or putting someone down when he actually cares. Nevertheless, he learns the error of his ways and discovers the value of honesty. On the downside, one supporting character seems bitter and judgemental.

Violence
Sex

A childhood crush. Nothing physical.

Language

A teenager says "jacksh--t" once, and the words "hell," "crap," "goddamn," and "a--hole" are also heard, though sparingly.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that director Rob Reiner's coming-of-age story inspired by Wendelin Van Draanen's book Flipped tracks the progression of a childhood friendship/crush over the main characters' elementary and middle school years. In a sweet, almost old-fashioned way, Reiner captures the shifting emotions and loyalties of friendship and first love while also tackling larger questions about character, environmental awareness, and class. Save for a handful of salty words, the movie's content is pretty squeaky clean -- though the themes of longing, changing friendships, and the importance of character make it most age-appropriate for older tweens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChrisP 3 July 2, 2015

Really quite good, but ...

There were many aspects of this film that made me want to show it to my 12 boy. The sub themes about strength of character, integrity and not caring so much abo... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 year old Written byMaryJoy June 5, 2011

A good movie

My 11 year old daughter felt this movie was fine for her and she made some connections to her own life. I was hesitant at first to have her watch it as the rev... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bybananalover March 6, 2011
Kid, 12 years old December 28, 2010

Actually follows the book! See it!

This is one the first movies that actually follows the book perfectly. Every scene is there, the actors portray the characters perfectly, and the overall theme... Continue reading

What's the story?

Young adult author Wendelin Van Draanen's novel is brought to life in filmmaker Rob Reiner's coming-of-age dramedy FLIPPED. Ever since the fateful day in second grade when they met, Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll) has been in love with her neighbor, Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe). But Bryce has always remained, if polite, a little aloof. That is, until a series of events in junior high -- her favorite tree being cut down, the bounty of eggs her chickens hatch being thrown out -- leave Juli questioning whether Bryce really is as wonderful as she has always thought. In the meantime, Bryce, who's always been so sure that Juli's a pest, is sensing a massive shift in his perceptions of her. What now?

Is it any good?

There's something sweetly endearing about a movie like Flipped, which is unabashedly nostalgic. It's a coming-of-age movie stripped of its edges and dark corners -- hard to do considering that we're talking about tweens and teens here. How lovely to observe the progression of young love without the complications of sexting and Facebook. Then again, it's set in the past -- a simpler time, or so it seems, that Reiner looks on fondly. We think: Perhaps life has become entirely too jaded in this uber-wired world.

That sensibility ups the movie's appeal -- as do the lead actors, who are fantastic, and Reiner's usual warmth and empathy. But Anthony Edwards, as Bryce's dad, seems woefully modern despite his period-appropriate wear, and ultimately Flipped lacks momentum. The voiceover narration lends the film an afterschool-special quality it could've done without, and interesting turns in the plot -- like Juli's first meeting with her disabled uncle -- are approached like talking points on what seems to be a "poignant, character-building moments" memo. It's an age-old tale told in a traditional, chronological arc, but a little inventiveness might have better captured the unexpectedness and surprise of adolescence.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What is it saying about both friendship and romance? Does Bryce and Juli's relationship seem believable?

  • Why do you think Bryce is so resistant to Juli's charms. She seems nice enough, so why the cold shoulder? What changes later? Is the shift believable?

  • Though they live across the street from each other, the Bakers and the Loskis appear to be on different financial footing. How is this discrepancy explored in the movie? Does it change the way each family treats the other?

  • How does the movie compare to the book?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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