Girl, Positive

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Girl, Positive Movie Poster Image
Frank, thoughtful look at teen sexuality and HIV.
  • NR
  • 2010
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some teen characters are described as promiscuous, and most dismiss their susceptibility to the dangers of HIV and harshly judge those infected with it, implying that they've brought it upon themselves with their lifestyle. But overall the movie works hard to dispel many of the stereotypes associated with HIV.

Violence

In one scene, a girl gets a bloody nose when a soccer ball hits her in the face. Blood is also drawn during HIV tests.

Sex

Given the movie's storyline, sex is one of its biggest issues/topics. Teen characters talk openly about their sexual habits, including how many partners they've had, whether they practice safe sex, and -- from both guys and girls -- how much they enjoy and desire it. On the physical side, there's just about everything except nudity -- teens kiss, make out, simulate sex (there's one brief scene, which is mostly obscured by bedding), and have pre-intercourse discussions about whether a condom is necessary or if "pulling out" will do.

Language
Consumerism

Cell phones, text messaging, blogs, and MySpace.com are a big part of how these teens communicate with each other and are central to the plot.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Party scenes show teens drinking (presumably beer), and although it's not attributed to drunkenness, a subsequent car accident kills one of the partygoers. A male teen is seen shooting heroin, a young woman takes birth control pills, and an HIV patient downs multiple medications as part of her daily routine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this made-for-TV movie takes a frank look at teen sexuality. The young characters all discuss promiscuity, unsafe sex, drug use, and their assumed invincibility to STDs at length -- as well as their belief that parents are more judgmental than understanding. (Teen viewers might not be surprised by the characters' active sex lives, but parents could be -- consider this a wake-up call!) The movie works to dispel common myths associated with HIV, including how it is (and isn't) contracted, who's at risk, and how much exposure is required to infect a person. Teens drink, use drugs, text- and instant-message each other constantly, and get pretty intimate (though the movie stops short of nudity), but there's no language or violence to speak of.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLissadances4life April 9, 2008

Needs to be told more than once a year!

I think this movie was awesome. However, the ending was not very good because it left you wanting more much like a prime time tv series would. I think there n... Continue reading
Adult Written byPaulKing April 9, 2008

False information

Positive Girl. How can they get away with such lies.? The web site for the scare AIDS movie claims: - Half of all new HIV infections occur in people under a... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byPoohmj5290 March 31, 2010

What's the story?

In GIRL, POSITIVE, an unsuspecting teen faces the reality of HIV. Rachel Sandler (Andrea Bowen of Desperate Housewives) is a popular high school senior with a bright future. But when word spreads in her quiet community that the all-around golden boy at her school (who died in a car accident) was using intravenous drugs, Rachel receives a mysterious email claiming that he was HIV-positive. She realizes she is also at risk since they had a one-night-stand -- and didn't use a condom. The story follows Rachel as she discovers she has HIV; is befriended by her teacher, Sarah Bennett (Jennie Garth of Beverly Hills, 90210), who has been living with the virus for years; and finally confides in her boyfriend, Greg (Evan Gamble), whose shock turns to anger and then blame. As rumors start circulating, Rachel must face the consequences of her bad judgment.

Is it any good?

Girl, Positive is an eye-opening look at the image-driven nature of teen life, where sexuality is a big part of popularity. Throughout the movie, one of the students gathers video clips for a school blog; these one-on-one conversations reflect the sense of invincibility and lack of knowledge that many teens have about STDs in general -- and HIV in particular. They talk openly about hooking up with multiple partners, the physical drawbacks of using a condom, and the fact that most of them have never had honest discussions about sex with their parents. The movie works hard to dispel misconceptions about HIV: "It won't happen to me," "That's a disease for gays," and "I had unprotected sex, but only one time."

You may find your teens balking at the idea of watching a movie like this with you, but Girl, Positive is so well done that it's worth the time, and hopefully will generate a frank discussion about the decision to have sex and the importance of protecting yourself.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teens and sex. Teens: How does this movie compare to your own experiences? Are the characters and subject matter relatable? What parts seemed less realistic? 

  • Do you and your friends talk about sex the way the kids in the movie do? Is there pressure to have sex as a teenager? Where does that pressure come from? 

  • What messages does the media send about sex and sexuality?

  • Parents can also encourage a frank discussion about sex, STDs, and methods of protection.

Movie details

For kids who love drama

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