Kat and the Band

Movie review by
Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Kat and the Band Movie Poster Image
Poor music comedy-drama has mild swearing and crude humor.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 92 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Following your dreams. Being creative. Collaborating with others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While Kat shows ambition and dedication to her work, she also lies, is rude and arrogant, demonstrates a degree of entitlement. Kat's grandma offers her encouragement to go out into the world, become her own person. Some musicians are depicted as skilled, talented, having integrity, who don't want to compromise for commercial success. Others are pretentious and limited in their abilities. Mixture of interracial friendships and positive working relationships.

Violence
Sex

Character is referred to as "horn chick" when they comment on another being good looking. Character pretends their friend is attracted to someone to get an invite to a party. Sex referred to as "sticky stuff." Older character advocates "free love." One character draws a penis onto the poster of a band, next to a band member's face. 

Language

Language includes "s--t," "bulls--t," and "work my arse off." "Skinny-legged, google-eyed, burger brain reject" used as an insult. Disgruntled crowds at gigs heckle minor insults. Some incidents of minor bullying.

Consumerism

Mobile phones feature prominently -- used for discussing work and recording music. Occasionally confiscated for use in school. Musician speaks disapprovingly about sacrificing artistic vision for commercial gain.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink in bars, not to excess, but some lie about their age to get served.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kat and the Band is a British comedy drama about a schoolgirl who begins managing an indie rock band. It contains some cursing, underage drinking, and mild sex references. Its positive messages include following your dreams and being your own person. It also attempts to add some depth to this by showing that strong vision and drive sometimes result in disappointing and frustrating others. There is a mixture of positive and negative role models. Many characters are creative, ambitious, and dedicated to their work. The lead character, Kat (Ella Hunt), does rebel in order to chase her dreams, however, which leads to her lying on multiple occasions, being rude and arrogant toward others, and clashing with authority figures such as parents and teachers. There are some references to sex, but these are all fairly minor or disguised as euphemisms. Kat's liberal grandma (Joanna David) tells her that she should be open to "free love" (promiscuous sex). But this is rejected by Kat, and the scene is played for comic effect. There is some drinking in bars and pubs, and although it's never to excess, it does include characters who are underage.

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What's the story?

In KAT AND THE BAND, 17-year-old student Kat (Ella Hunt) manages to convince an indie rock band she admires to let her manage them, by lying about her age. As Kat and the band set off on tour across rural England, they must overcome some difficulties.

Is it any good?

More rock 'n' stroll than rock 'n' roll, almost everything about this comedy-drama is tame and dated. From its youthful characters only name-checking classic rock bands and aging indie artists, to the limp pop-rock played by Dollar Days -- the band the script requires its characters get overly excited about -- Kat and the Band lacks a much needed spark.

Dougie Poynter -- bassist for British pop-rock band McFly -- puts in one of several performances that have all the impact of a flat note, while lead actor Hunt does her best to bring to life a protagonist who is as entitled and condescending as she is passionate and ambitious. Still, like any passable pop song, if you don't concentrate too hard or expect too much, there is some escapism to be found among the clichés.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the language and references to sex in Kat and the Band. Did they seem appropriate for a movie like this? What did they add to the story?

  • Talk about the character of Kat. Did you like her? Does her drive and ambition justify her at-times spoiled and arrogant behavior? Why are people with strong professional drive sometimes difficult to deal with?

  • How does Kat's liberal grandmother contrast with her conservative mother? How do they both want the best for Kat, but in different ways? Which of the two did you identify more with and why?

  • Discuss the movie's use of music. Did you like the songs? How many of the "classic" artists referenced in the movie have you heard of?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Themes & Topics

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