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Getting There: Sweet 16 and Licensed to Drive
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 There: Sweet 16 & Licensed to Drive is a 2002 film specifically designed to cash in on the popularity of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the beloved television sitcom stars. The movie has almost no plot, no fully-realized characters, and, other than promoting a vast array of products, showing some irresponsible behavior (especially in the driving sequences) and mild ethnic stereotyping, it is otherwise mild.
What's the story?
Taylor (Ashley Olsen) and Kylie (Mary-Kate Olsen) are sixteen! That means driving, and, for this twin team, a brand new car! GETTING THERE takes the girls and a crew of their teen friends on a road trip to Salt Lake City and the Winter Olympics. But "getting there" from California isn't as easy as it sounds. After a dizzying obstacle course of dented fenders, stolen wheels, wrong turns, a Las Vegas adventure, and an array of hits, misses, and new friends, they eventually get to the snow-covered Utah mountains for skiing, snow-boarding, snow-mobiling, and all-out playtime.
Is it any good?
Made on a shoestring and shot, produced, and edited without any attention to quality or detail, it doesn't get much worse than this blatant attempt to capitalize on former TV celebrity. Any similarity to real kids, real situations, or real emotions is strictly accidental. The phony teen dialogue is exaggerated and abrasive; the giggling, mugging girls can only hold center stage for so long without losing their appeal; and stereotyping of both teens and ethnic minorities is downright offensive.
Getting There is a time waster with nothing to recommend.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Hollywood cashes in on fan loyalty. The Olsen Twins were popular celebrities when this movie was made (like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and others are more recently). Do you think stars like that have a responsibility to their fans when making movies? What is that responsibility?
Discuss the teen driving that is shown in this film. What do you think would happen if real kids drove so erratically and didn't wear seat belts? Should filmmakers be more careful when creating these scenes? Why?
What is an ethnic stereotype? How does this term apply to the Indian wedding chapel owner and the Mexican driver?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.