Flipped Movie Poster Image

Flipped

Coming-of-age romance brings light touch to heavy themes.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 27, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:November 23, 2010
Cast:Callan McAuliffe, Madeline Carroll, Rebecca DeMornay
Director:Rob Reiner
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language and some thematic material

This review of Flipped was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written bybananalover March 6, 2011

young love for tweenagers

this movie is so good
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byEvonyflyer December 26, 2010

Great Movie!

There was way too much profanity for a supposedly "PG" film. But, it was an amazing movie!! I personally would recommend it to alot of teens my age.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
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 of the movie is clearly stated. The language is very iffy for a PG. Jacks**t, god****t, hell, and as*h**e are all said by the characters. There is some thematic material such as talk about mental retardation and a man always thinking about his dead wife. Even though it maybe should have been PG-13, this is a fantastic coming of age story.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages