Parent reviews for Jessica Darling's It List

Common Sense says

Uneven junior high coming-of-age tale has comic stereotypes.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 22 reviews
Parent of a 2 and 11-year-old Written byAandJsDad June 23, 2016

Great for Family Movie Night!

Gotta say I disagree with the "official" review. I watched this movie with my 11 year old daughter and two of her friends who are all about to start middle school and they LOVED it! That is what counts as it's not my opinion it is a FACT. They, the 11 year old girls, LOVED it. The cast is excellent. I Googled them...turns out, already, Chloe East who portrays Jessica Darling is on Liv and Maddie and Ashley Liao who portrays Manda is on Fuller House. These young actors are already launching to other hit shows based on their performances here in IT List. There are so many great things about this movie but if I had to choose only one, it would be young people can see that conflict can be resolved and even lead to friendships. If you are looking for a comparison I can loosely compare it to "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" but geared more towards girls. I highly recommend for Family Movie Night!! There is no sex, drugs, profanity...just 90 minutes of AWESOME!

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Parent of a 13-year-old Written byjerseymom June 23, 2016

Relatable, realistic and really fun!

I watched this with a group of mothers and their daughters all aged between 9-13 years old and they absolutely adored this movie! This movie ISN'T about being popular, pretty and perfect--it's about how trying to play by someone else's rules is a recipe for disaster! The girls liked that the focus of the story was on friendship and learning how to be true to themselves. The characters were much more like girls and boys they recognized in their daily lives, unlike the over-the-top caricatures that dominate entertainment for this age group. The mothers loved the message about finding your true path--a journey that can have its challenges but is always worth it in the end. It actually sparked great conversation between the moms and their girls! Finally, the actors looked like REAL KIDS, not mini adults pretending to be middle schoolers. All the performances are great, but Chloe East is a natural! I highly recommend this movie for parents looking for a fun story with a positive, empowering message for young girls.

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Parent of a 7 and 12-year-old Written byrainydayusa June 23, 2016

Funny, poignant, wonderful for the entire family

We watched this with 3 generations -- grandparents, parents and tweens and everyone found someone to love about it. relatable situations, NO violence, bad language or sexual situations. Just funny, sweet, and wonderful with a great message about staying true to yourself. HIGHLY recommend.

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Parent of a 9 and 12-year-old Written byJulie St-F August 13, 2017

Predictable popularity

So, yes. Jessica Darling's It List is something we've all seen before. Nerdy 7th Grader feels pressured to be popular by her friends, her sister and her sort of awful mother. In the end, she of course learns that she will like her life, and the kinds of friends she makes better, if she just acts like herself.
**Some Spoilers**
The positives: the dialogue and some of the situations (the school mascot drama, the competing cheer teams) are going to be fresh enough to impress it's tween audience, and not completely make parents gag. Plus, I felt they were all pretty accurate depictions of both my own, and my daughter's junior high experience. For, what is the 7th Grade, if not a cheesy direct-to-film dramedy? I really liked how Jessica recognized that her and her best friend Bridget were growing apart, and that it wasn't worth forcing their friendship to stay together. I also liked that the plot did not involve a "take down" of the vapid, popularity obsessed Sara and Manda. I knew (and know - because I'm the mom of a 12 year old) girls who are that transparent about their need to be popular. And the truth is, they don't need a slapstick comedic comeupppance. They just need some time to grow up, and hopefully people who love them and remind them of their better qualities. Bonus points for a girl with engineering aspirations taking shop class.
The Downsides: The plot resolves a little to quickly to be realistic. And, like I said, if you are out of junior high, it's pretty predictable. But if you are out of junior high, this film is not for you.
To discuss: Jessica's mother and older sister put so much emphasis on her looks. Her mother never really apologizes in the film. We talked about why parents might be like that. But my daughter - who is kinda like Jessica - really felt that she would feel like I valued her less if I focussed more on her appearance.
Adult Written byShoelaces 1. June 13, 2018


its okay, but im lying in bed at 12:47 all depressed and what not because it got me in my feels and made me realize that people at my school probably hate me and that im so unpopular. none of this is even true and i could care less if people like me or if im popular PLUS i've never been depressed a day in my life but yet here i am. #latenightfeels. but if you're a parent looking for advice then I'd say this movie is really cheesy but it isn't bad.
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byRiley K. September 22, 2017


Don't think appropriate for 11 yrs or younger. Talks about boyfriends etc...
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bykthenderson June 23, 2016

LOVE LOVE LOVE - Jessica & Bridget!! Best Friends, Middle School & Boys! Tween Girls Will Totally Relate!

Just finished watching this film with my girls. We LOVED it. I have a 12-year old and a 16 year old. My 16 year old reflected her own middle school years and could relate to Jessica and Bridget’s struggles. She also had her fair share of dealings with the “Manda’s” and the “Sarah’s” of the world and wound up meeting a “Hope” and just like Jessica she continued her friendship with a “Bridget,” but their friendship was never as close as it was in elementary school. The film is a preparation for what my 12-year can expect and experience for her own middle school years.

Girls can be mean! You can either join them OR avoid them. This is the world Jessica Darling must navigate. She is on a discovery quest, a quest to find out who she is, who her true friends are, and where she fits in.

Your tweens will love Chloe East and Emma Rayne Lyle! Chloe is an excellent Jessica and the audience will find her extremely likable. Emma is strong as Bridget; she never comes off too bratty or conceded, and she could have gone that way. I am glad she didn’t.

The kids will relate to the problems these girls share. What’s beautiful about this film is that Jessica Darling discovers she is a strong, independent girl and her persistence to be that emerges during one of the most trying times in the formation of a person’s identity: the beginning of junior high.

As Jessica attempts to abide by the ”IT List” she gets from Bethany, she journeys into the treacherous land of seventh grade along with her BFF, Bridget and a group of new friends Hope, Manda and Sara. And just like life NOTHING goes as planned for Jessica.

Your kids will love this fun film. I totally recommend it! LOVE LOVE LOVE

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Parent Written bysuperj July 15, 2016

Funny, heartwarming movie that all ages will love!

Jessica Darling’s It List is an adorable, funny movie about finding your own way. I watched with my tween daughter and her friends who are just beginning the journey that Jessica and her friends take in the movie -- entering middle school, figuring out where they fit in, and what makes someone a true friend. The characters are relatable, funny and multi-dimensional.
Not only was this film really fun for my oldest daughter, but it would have been totally appropriate to view with my toddler (although not geared for her clearly), and entertaining for me as an adult. It's the perfect film for a family movie night. It's a great movie to watch with tween/teen girls, and just as enjoyable for anyone who has ever been a tween and experienced those thrilling first days of middle school - a little bit terrified and a little bit thrilled.
The shop teacher scenes are a highlight ;)
Definitely worth checking out!
Parent Written byMichelleL 6 June 24, 2016

Wonderful message

As a 5th grade teacher I plan to show this in class and use its message of following your own path to help prepare my kids for middle school.

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