By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Miley Cyrus overacts in sex 'n' drugs high school drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
LOL encourages communication between parents and their teens and shows the consequences of lying. But lots of negative behavior also comes without consequences.
Positive Role Models
Not many stellar role models in this movie, but at least Lola and Anne are a closer-than-average mother and daughter, who -- despite their fights and disagreements -- learn to communicate openly and honestly. Most of the teens deceive their parents, lie during an overseas school trip, sneak around, drink, smoke, have sex, and act like grades don't matter.
Violence & Scariness
A father gets angry at his son for getting poor grades and pushes him and smashes his guitar. Lola is upset that her ex-boyfriend calls her a "ho," so she starts shoving and slapping him until another friend intervenes; they're all sent to the principal's office.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens engage in various levels of sexuality -- from daydreaming about the attractive math teacher to discussing hook-ups to passionate making out and losing their virginity. One couple kisses half clothed in bed a few times, and then goes all the way (a condom is used). A girl hooks up with a guy in a bathroom stall (noises are heard, but nothing is seen). Divorced parents continue to have sex (although it's never shown). One girl is labeled a "post it note," because she "sticks" to any guy who lets her. A girl's caller ID on her boyfriend's phone is displayed as a photo of her bra-clad breasts. Two adults make love (the shirtless man lies on top of the woman, who's wearing a bra). A mother comments on her teenage daughter's Brazilian wax, saying "I don't want my daughter looking like a porn star."
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Lots of teen cursing, and some by adults, too. Words include "a--hole," "s--t," "ass," "bulls--t," "screw you," "stupid," "shut up," "damn." Lots of shaming language, too: "slut," "bitch," "ho." Lola calls her mother a bitch to her face.
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Products & Purchases
All of the teens in the movie seem to own the same MacBook Pro laptop. Facebook is mentioned or shown a few times; a friend of Lola's drives a Vespa.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Regular alcohol and marijuana consumption by both teens and adults in social situations. In one scene, guests at a dinner party pass a joint in the presence of an off-duty narcotics officer, who doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Adults also smoke cigarettes. A grandmother asks a teenager at a party for a hard drink and then passes out from it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LOL stars Miley Cyrus in the American adaptation of a popular French coming-of-age drama that tackles mature topics including teen sexuality, drug experimentation, divorce, and parent-child relationships. Younger fans of Cyrus' Disney series Hannah Montana might be curious to see her first role since The Last Song, but be warned that the adolescent themes are really heavy handed. While not raunchy like an American Pie-type comedy, much is made of losing virginity, hooking up, sexting, and even trying to seduce a hot teacher. And it's not just teens having sex and doing drugs (marijuana) and drinking -- the adults do it, too. Language is common but not constant ("s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," etc.), and the visible products are mostly technology-related (MacBooks, Facebook, smartphones).
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Based on 9 parent reviews
Parenting sucks in this movie, seriously !
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An all time favourite
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What's the Story?
LOL is the story of Lola (Miley Cyrus), a Chicago teen navigating the daily dramas of high school. Lola, who goes by Lol, has just called it quits with her cheating ex but quickly begins to question whether her feelings for male best friend Kyle (Douglas Booth) are more than platonic. Meanwhile, Lola's mother, Anne (Demi Moore), deals with her increasingly distant and defiant teen, as well as two younger kids, her complicated relationship with ex-husband (Thomas Jane), and the attention of a handsome younger police detective (Jay Hernandez).
Is It Any Good?
French writer-director Lisa Azuelos has adapted her 2008 coming-of-age drama LOL: Laughing out Loud for American audiences, but something must have been lost in the translation. While there are still some French elements (the casual attitude about family members bathing in front of each other, adults who routinely smoke marijuana at dinner parties, and even a spring break trip to Paris), the social media-laden plot (texts and status updates pop up on the screen) seems more like a Lifetime cautionary tale for parents than a compelling teen drama worth renting.
Although the cast is promising at first, Cyrus proves not only utterly devoid of charm but also incapable of toning down the overacting she learned on the Disney Channel. The supporting players -- who occasionally, like Fisher Stevens and Gina Gershon as Anne's married best friends, provide well-acted relief from the melodrama -- can't save this oddly paced and over-the-top soap from its main problem: an unlikable protagonist who's too selfish to see beyond her own OMG! troubles. And while it's expected for teens to be self-absorbed (on or off camera), LOL is nowhere near as funny as the title suggests.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about LOL's representation of teen sexuality. How realistically does the movie depict the issues that teens face when deciding to have sex? What are the dangers of sexting?
Is the movie's mother-daughter relationship believable? Is it a good example of how teens and parents should communicate about tough issues?
Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
- In theaters: May 4, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: July 31, 2012
- Cast: Ashley Greene, Demi Moore, Miley Cyrus
- Director: Lisa Azuelos
- Inclusion Information: Pansexual actors
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: High School
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: mature thematic content involving teen sexuality and drug and alcohol use, and for language
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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