A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Get a Clue centers around a pampered teen girl whose obsessions with fashion and gossip make her a less-than-ideal heroine. Working with a multicultural group of friends she finds some redemption as the students try to solve a mystery involving a teacher, but his troubles began as result of the heroine's snooping. Brooklyn is depicted as a third-world country to the Manhattan teens.
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What's the story?
In GET A CLUE, teen Lexy Gold (Lindsay Lohan) is living a life of privilege in Manhattan, doted on by her mother and her father, a New York Times reporter, when she's not being annoyed by her gadget-happy younger sister. Lexy's main concerns are fashion and shopping with her best friend Jennifer (Brenda Song), followed by her own journalistic efforts as the school newspaper's advice columnist. When one of Lexy's stories triggers the disappearance of a favorite teacher, she and her friends must use their own skills -- including, in Lexy's case, her incredible knowledge of shopping -- to solve the mystery.
Is it any good?
The movie features a talented and likable cast, including Lindsay Lohan just before she lost her child-like charm. Get a Clue zips along with the help of an upbeat soundtrack, funky costumes, and Manhattan backdrops (filmed in Toronto) designed to inspire location envy. Lexy and her friends overcome minor differences to cooperate and are motivated by the words of Lexy's loving dad, who tells her that hard work, imagination, and luck can accomplish almost anything. There's a complicated embezzlement scheme that will confuse kids younger than 10.
The problem is that even as Lexy's eyes are opened to the problems she's caused and the fact that one of her friends -- gasp -- lives in Brooklyn, not Manhattan, her shallowness doesn't really diminish. Her "insane obsession with material objects," as one of her classmates describes it, instead becomes a secret weapon, helping her identify fake private detectives wearing expensive watches and a jewel discounted as a flea market find. Lexy may be well-meaning, but she's no role model for parents who want their daughters to embrace more than the latest fashion magazines.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Lexy's materialism in Get a Clue. Is the lifestyle she's living realistic? What about the wardrobes she and her best friend wear to school? She defends her article on her teacher's love life as "human interest" instead of "gossip." Do you think there's a difference? Should she have written the story?