It's a Boy Girl Thing

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
It's a Boy Girl Thing Movie Poster Image
Raunchy teen comedy looks at gender roles; lots of cursing.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 95 minutes

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age 12+
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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

We can understand people better when we look at the world through their eyes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Quarterback Woody seems to be playing the role of a dumb jock. He seems to treat women as if they were objects. When he's forced to learn more about women, he becomes a nicer guy. Nell is an over-achieving brain who looks down on jocks until circumstances force her to walk a mile in a jock's shoes. Parents tell their kids that they accept them as they are.

Violence

A guy (in a girl's body) socks an actual guy in the face for spreading the false rumor that the two had sex. Football players knock into each other.

Sex

Although no sex is seen, we learn that a teenage guy cheats on his girlfriend. She gets revenge by getting him to take his clothes off and leaving him by the road naked. The profile of a clothed erection is shown several times. A website featuring erections is shown and one is seen for under a second. Opposite and same-sex attraction are referenced when a boy (stuck in a girl's body) realizes he doesn't want to have sex with a guy. He does enjoy a slumber party, watching the other girls hang out wearing their bras. He (still looking like a girl) allows them to wax his (her) pubic hair, which they refer to as "going Latino." A guy suggests that a girl secretly wants to have sex with him. An Aztec statue with bare breasts is shown. A girl describes her ex-boyfriend as a "dumb jock with his brains in his shorts." A guy has an erection while practicing football with a girl. A girl's dress is torn, revealing her bare behind. Guys are seen unclothed in the locker room but genitals are covered.
 

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "t-ts," "bitch," "schlong," "ass," "geek," "spaz," "skank," "crap," "spastic," "nuts," "penis," "sweet cheeks," "homo," "hot booty," and "fun bags."
 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teenagers drink a lot of beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the 2006 romantic comedy It's a Boy Girl Thing examines teenage gender roles. A serious and literary high school senior wakes up in the body of her quarterback next-door neighbor, and he wakes up in hers. In order to keep their lives on track -- she has an interview at Yale and he has a crucial football game -- they must teach each other. The exchange of information includes discussion of how to manage morning erections, throw a football, and speak intelligently about poetry. The movie is raunchy, with references to waxing pubic hair, losing virginity, how to put on a bra for the first time, and locker-room views of female bodies (no full nudity). Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "ass." Teenagers drink a lot of beer.     

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Teen, 16 years old Written bymellala101 August 8, 2018

A little Mature

This is a very mature show, with many references to sex and cursing. When the boy and girl wake up in the other's bodies, there are inappropriate scenes wh... Continue reading

What's the story?

IT'S A BOY GIRL THING sets brainy high school senior Nell (Samaire Armstrong) against her quarterback neighbor Woody (Kevin Zegers) early in the action so by the time a class trip takes the battling pair to a museum, they are ripe for a magical plot twist. For no explainable reason, standing in front of an Aztec statue begins to put Woody in Nell's body and vice versa. Like Big, Vice Versa, and other switcheroo movies, the comedy comes out of the juxtaposition of the unexpected. The girl must learn to use the guy's body she is stuck in to play football well enough to get the guy into a college program. The guy trapped in the girl's body must agree to study literature so he can give an impressive interview at Yale. In the process, they both get to play fly on the wall and hear the way girls talk among girls and guys talk among guys. Woody, looking like Nell, hears his former girlfriend say she only dated him because he was captain of the football team. Nell, looking like Woody, learns how kind and supportive Woody's parents are. Woody needs to help Nell so Woody can do well and Nell needs to help Woody so Nell can do well. Their shared goals lead to empathy, friendship, and more.

Is it any good?

This movie is a cut above the usual teen angst comedy. Of course, the enormous transformation of the teenage body from child to adult is a model in some sense for the preposterous, magical transformation on display here. Transgender issues are far more widely discussed today than they were in 2006, when the film was released, but this is less a display of the distress of being born into the wrong body than it is an exploration into the ways men and women emphasize their differences rather than their similarities. The writing is intelligent and the dialogued reflects thoughtful insights into traditional male and female behavior and roles. Also to its credit, It's a Boy Girl Thing doesn't depend solely on explanatory dialogue to illuminate those differences. Zegers and Armstrong demonstrate the way their characters think like one gender and act like the other. Magical stories often get snagged in the details of their specific unrealities but once this movie's impossible premise is set out, the rest is worked out quite plausibly. The only question might be regarding Woody waking up in Nell's body. Why does he find himself in Nell's bed? And likewise, why does Nell, finding herself in Woody's body, wake up at Woody's house? Because, silly, it's magic.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the subtle ways in which the lead actors in show that their characters are one gender on the outside and another on the inside. Do you think It's a Boy Girl Thing thoughtfully looks at the ways in which boys and girls differ?

  • The movie suggests that the differences that keep males and females from understanding each other can be overcome, in this case by magic. Can you think of some real ways that can help people come to understand others better?

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  • Does the movie question or promote gender stereotypes?

Movie details

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