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Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bullying story is engaging but problematic; drugs, drinking.

Movie R 2022 77 minutes
Jane Movie Poster

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Cyberbullying is unfortunately all too familiar to teens, and while writer-director Sabrina Jaglom's dark approach is likely to connect, it's unlikely to dissuade. The story revolves around issues that grip the lives of many high school seniors: the pressure of college applications, anxiety about the future, managing social demands, and even grieving the death of a classmate. Ambitious Olivia is a mild-mannered girl who, having lost her best friend at the start of senior year, can't let her dream of attending Stanford -- the university she and Jane dreamed of attending together -- out of her grasp. Desperately needing a friend, she reconnects with the former bestie who had left her and Jane behind when she rose up the popularity chain.

There's a soapy feel here, like a storyline that might have popped up in Pretty Little Liars or Gossip Girl, but darker. But in movies, more so than TV series, we've come to expect and appreciate neat messaging -- and that doesn't exist here. Jane is the earnest cousin of wicked satires like Heathers and Tragedy Girls. And teen viewers will recognize Olivia's actions as wrong and harmful, but because this isn't satire, it's not funny. Still, Olivia is such an unlikely candidate to perpetrate cyberbullying that the story is as unpredictable as a college acceptance letter -- and that's likely to keep teens enthralled.

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