Geek Charming

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Geek Charming Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Sweet story models positive relationships among teens.
  • G
  • 2012
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 35 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie is meant to entertain rather than to educate, but there are plenty of worthwhile messages about respect and self-esteem.

Positive Messages

An image-obsessed teen comes to terms with the hurtful effect of her actions and changes her attitude toward peers she once treated with disdain. Unexpected friendships emerge that cross traditional lines of social status among teens and challenge preconceived stereotypes of groups like "geeks" and the "in crowd." There's some nastiness directed at the less-popular students, but it's not excessive and serves to underscore the movie's positive messages. Body humor includes a burping contest.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dylan evolves from a self-absorbed popularity queen into someone who learns to see past first impressions and appreciate her peers' diversity. Other teens experience similar changes of heart. Adults are great role models, encouraging traits like honesty, expressing feelings, and taking responsibility for your actions.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The story's focal romance culminates in a few kisses.


No cursing, but there's some name-calling like "nerd" and "geek."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this feel-good movie based on the young adult novel by Robin Palmer is rich in social themes about friendship, respect, self-confidence, and denouncing stereotypes. The family-friendly content ensures that Geek Charming's positive messages will reach kids and tweens alike. The main character initially treats many of her peers with contempt and calls them "nerds" and "geeks," but kids will recognize how her attitude changes over the course of the story. The teens are surrounded by strong adult role models who encourage them to behave responsibly and hold themselves to high standards. There's an emotional storyline surrounding a parent's death that occurred before the movie's start.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDisney-all-day January 14, 2012

Fun with a slice of life

The ideas in this movie are often found in reality but are somewhat over exaggerated for dramatic and cinematic purposes. However, that aside, the overall theme... Continue reading
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byBlackrock63 August 9, 2018

Predictable but done in such a lovely way

My 8 year old daughter and I (Dad) loved this film. It was fairly predictable for the parents but my daughter didn't know this and really enjoyed this film... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGoldilocks06 August 9, 2020

Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but never boring

This movie is made for teenage girls when life is annoying or they're on their periods. Funny and sweet, is a perfect Disney Channel movie.
Teen, 16 years old Written byjjyoyo May 28, 2020

Love the plot!!

I think that this movie is very heartwarming and cute! The concept of being popular and having a secret life as theme is very interesting! I love how the viewer... Continue reading

What's the story?

Dylan Schoenfeld (Modern Family's Sarah Hyland) is proud of her status as Woodlands Academy's most popular girl, and with the school's Blossom Queen competition on the horizon, she's determined to take home the coveted crown and seal her place of honor. But when an unexpected encounter with self-proclaimed film geek Josh Rosen (Matt Prokop) leads the two to team up for his latest film project, Dylan crosses social boundaries and invites him into the life of the "populars" for the purpose of his documentary. Josh intended his film to be a hard-hitting expose about the high school popularity system, but the more time he spends with Dylan, the more he sees her true nature hidden beneath the cool-girl façade. Dylan, too, finds herself drawn to Josh, despite the heat she takes from her inner circle about fraternizing with a "social outcast." As both the competition and the film deadline draw near, Josh and Dylan wrestle with their emotions and re-evaluate both their relationship with each other and their definition of popularity.

Is it any good?

GEEK CHARMING is very sweet, a little sappy, and superbly crafted. It tackles the notion of what it means to be atop the social hierarchy and how the pressure to conform to peer pressure complicates teens' relationships. There's a fair amount of exaggeration when it comes to Dylan's personality (at least, you have to hope that her pretentiousness isn't entirely realistic), but her emotional evolution is what will stand out for viewers. Even so, some of the characters' tribulations over trying to fit in or feeling pressure to conform may ring true with your kids, so it's a great opportunity to talk about these issues with them.

Perhaps the best message to emerge from this movie, which is based on a book by Robin Palmer, exists in the balance of Dylan and Josh's culminating relationship. Both characters experience personal growth and learn important lessons from each other, which allows them to build trust based on mutual respect. Their unlikely partnership inspires others to think harder before following preconceptions, and it can have the same effect on your kids. It's a great reminder for every viewer that things -- and people -- aren't always what they seem, and that seeing past what's on the outside can reveal a surprising inner spirit.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about popularity. How is popularity determined, and how is it portrayed in the media? Are there different levels of popularity among your peers? Does the issue of bullying affect you at school or among friends? Is it plausible to stand up to the social structure?

  • Kids: Why is it important to show respect to other people? Does everyone deserve your respect? How can your preconceptions of someone cloud your judgment?

  • What other shows or movies have you seen that are based on books? What can TV shows offer that books can't? Has there ever been an instance in which you've preferred a book to its onscreen counterpart?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love high school stories

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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