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Meet the Deedles

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Meet the Deedles Movie Poster Image
Teen slacker comedy has some peril, potty humor.
  • PG
  • 1998
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Even slackers can have good hearts and be responsible.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Stew is a creative science and computer nerd and Phil is aware enough to recognize his intellectual deficits.

Violence

All violence is played for comedy. An escaped bear and lion menace a camping ground. Cars and trucks are wrecked in several accidents. Explosives go off. A bungalow falls apart. A man at a desk drops into a sink hole beneath him. A man drops out of a helicopter into rapids and is rescued just before he goes over falls.  Bad guys drain brake fluid from a jeep, which causes an accident. Diarrhea provides laughs.

Sex

Two adults kiss.

Language

"Heinous anus," "heinie," "screw," and "fart."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The twins make Hawaiian drinks but it's unclear what's in them.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Meet the Deedles is a 1998 made-for-TV Disney comedy that feels like a cross between Wayne's World and Home Alone. The humor is broad, much of it accessible to tweens. Eighteen-year-olds in bathing suits kiss and a comic evil genius tries to blow up a national park and divert a geyser for his personal benefit. Violence is played for laughs, including surfing through rapids and threatening circus animals on the loose, but no one gets seriously hurt. There's some potty humor. Language includes "heinous anus," "heinie," "screw," and "fart."

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What's the story?

In MEET THE DEEDLES, party animal, surfer twins Phil (Paul Walker) and Stew (Steve Van Wormer) celebrate their 18th birthday by playing hooky and are immediately expelled from school. Their wealthy father (Eric Braeden) decides he's spoiled them long enough and sends them to survival camp in Wyoming to shape them up. That immediately goes wrong, leading them to impersonate two female survival experts who are heading to Yellowstone Park to help eradicate a sudden infestation of prairie dogs on the eve of the celebration of famed Geyser Old Faithful's billionth birthday. Phil and Stew seem like slackers but at least Stew has some science and computing smarts, so a plan is hatched to clear the park of prairie dogs before luminaries arrive for the celebration. (In one scheme, he sprays them with diarrhea-inducing gas that hits a tourist bus by mistake.) Soon it's clear that the coming celebration is being sabotaged by disgruntled former head ranger Slater (Dennis Hopper, complete with evil laugh). Phil falls for Jesse (A.J. Langer), the head ranger's daughter, leading to romantic interludes and some bug-eating.

Is it any good?

This is surprisingly amusing, owing in large part to winning performances by Walker and Van Wormer as amiable slackers who just want to have fun. The jokes are dopey but well-delivered: a brother wanted to claim amnesia, but forgot. The guys narrate themselves, adding, "insert laugh here," when something funny happens. They use cartoons as a reference: a moose is a "Bullwinkle," a deer is a "Bambi." The brothers are more likable than the equally self-obsessed slackers in Wayne's World, and they're just as adept at thwarting bad guys as the offensive genius at the heart of Home Alone, two hit movies that seemed to provide inspiration for this one. Meet the Deedles might provide relatively mindless fun for kids who are in the mood.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about people like the twins, who seem both extremely dumb and oddly smart at the same time. Does Meet the Deedles convince you that that's possible?

  • The brothers recall that when they're in trouble they usually do stupid things. What do you do when you make mistakes?

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  • A lot of the fun things the twins do seem scary. Would you go surfing through the rapids of a river? Why does that make for an exciting movie sequence?

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Movie details

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