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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie centers on rebellious teens -- a lot of what they get up to is on the mild side (ditching class, sneaking out of the house to meet boys, and crashing parties), but their behavior doesn't send a strong positive message to young viewers.
Positive Role Models
Teens do things like lie to their parents and break the rules -- they often have what they consider to be good reasons for their behavior, but it doesn't make them ideal role models. One character sells term papers to other students and is always out to make a buck.
Violence & Scariness
Teens break through a glass window and comically throw a character into a cake.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Natalie is shown lounging around her room in lingerie. Janey hangs out in her bedroom in underwear and a tank top. There's some innocent but sexy dancing. Drew cons a girl into letting him grab her breasts. Janey and Jeff kiss.
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"Butthead" is as strong as it gets.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine is served at a party, but no teens drink it, and no one gets drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is mostly PG -- there's only a little kissing and no drinking, swearing, or drug use. But there's considerable -- and benign -- teenage rebellion. Janey moves to a new school, meets a wild girl, and starts ditching class and sneaking out of her house to meet a boy. She doesn't do anything dangerous, but she does learn to be insubordinate to her parents. There are also gratuitous shots of girls sitting around their bedrooms in their underwear. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Sit back and giggle: This movie is just a good, cheesy time. Take a big helping of Hairspray (minus the political consciousness and the divine Ricki Lake) and sprinkle it with a candy-covered version of My So-Called Life and what you have is the totally tubular '80s teen dance movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Complete with bad fashions (neon fingerless gloves, anyone?), bad hair, and even worse dancing, This movie features some of today's most popular actors doing some of the cheesiest things you've ever seen. See a pre-Sex and the City Parker as the Catholic school girl Army brat who dreams of dancing on Dance TV (hosted by Richard Blade, whom some '80s music lovers may recall as a DJ on an L.A. radio station). Watch her doing back flips and practicing dance lifts a la Dirty Dancing. Witness the Oscar-winning actress Hunt hamming it up in some of the most absurd -- but actually worn -- '80s ensembles and big, ratted-out hair. It's Totally Awesome without the irony. And if you love the '80s, it is totally awesome.
Forget the plot, though. Just concentrate on the Solid Gold-quality dance numbers and the outrageous fashion. Forget, if you can, that Helen Hunt is way too mature-seeming to pull off the role of Lynn (where's AJ Langer when you need her?) and just look for the cameo by a preteen Shannen Doherty and the New Wave girls in Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" video.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.