A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Getting That Girl is a high school sex comedy that features frequent strong profanity throughout (many uses of "f--k," crass sexual language), frequent drinking and weed smoking, coke snorting (at school, parties), and frequent discussions of sex and the pursuit of sex. There are no discussions of safe sex and no repercussions for underage drinking or illegal drug use. The film portrays drinking, smoking, and doing illegal drugs, as well as unprotected sex and oral sex with numerous partners, as typical of the high school experience without scrutiny. A guy slaps a girl, then proceeds to start to unbuckle his belt, implying that he would try to rape her, but he is stopped.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When Mandy (Gia Mantegna) transfers to new school McDermott High in Southern California, she quickly makes friends with the resident mean girls. She soon learns that two very different suitors have taken notice of her. One is a letter-writing romantic named Andy (Escher Holloway), and the other is a popular football-playing jock. Soon she'll have to decide which type of guy is right for her and whether to heed the advice of her new so-called friends.
Is it any good?
GETTING THAT GIRL is a mediocre teen comedy. Women here are categorized into neat stereotypes of nice or mean, pretty or ugly, willing or prudish, and all the boys are oversexed and rowdy, willing to do whatever it takes to get the girl. Added in for good measure is an endless stream of profanity, vulgarity, underage drinking, illegal drug use, and innuendo.
Though there's arguably a place for some of these aspects of experimenting, here there's no context in which to understand them, no real-world consequences, and virtually no parental involvement. The result is normalizing these aspects of high school life to an absurd degree and overshadowing any potential here for a more relatable or likable story: that it's important to be who you really are, have some integrity, and fix your mistakes. This is a teen comedy that's all imitation of its forebears with no heart, substance, or point.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the film's approach to drinking, drug use, and sex. How realistic do you think this is? How are these teenagers able to get away with this behavior without reproach or more serious consequences?
How does the film portray men vs. women in terms of sex? What are some of the more troubling stereotypes at work here?
How does this film compare to your experience in high school in terms of attitudes about drugs, drinking, or sex? Is there anything redeeming in this film? Is it funny? Why, or why not?
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