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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages are everywhere in this heartwarming doc, from the can-do spirit of Abbey Curran to the beauty of watching girls with challenges just being silly with their friends. Perhaps the most smile-inducing messages come from the parents of these girls, who are matter-of-fact about their daughters' disabilities -- and about how much they are loved.
Positive Role Models
The audience will meet many determined young women whose disabled bodies don't imprison their mind or spirit. Curran herself is a role model for both people with disabilities and those without.
Violence & Scariness
Viewers see girls falling on the ground, their limbs twisting, and hear about some of the girls' limited life expectancy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex or flirting, but the audience does see women in bikinis strutting across a stage and there is incessant (complimentary) talk about the physical appearance of pageant contestants.
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Products & Purchases
The Miss You Can Do It pageant is prominently spotlighted.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Miss You Can Do It is a gentle and heartwarming documentary about a pageant for girls with physical disabilities. There's no cursing, sex, dating, drinking, or drugs. However, watching young women struggle terribly to walk or talk may be upsetting to young or sensitive viewers; listening to parents talk frankly about their daughters' chances for long-term survival and future independence may prove equally upsetting. Some girls are not expected to survive to adulthood, and their parents say as much. Parents may also consider whether they think pageants, which spotlight the physical appearance of its contestants, to be something they want children to watch or revere. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Meeting these girls and their parents is the best part of Miss You Can Do It. But for viewers weaned on pageant shows like Toddlers & Tiaras, it's hard to forget that this entire documentary is celebrating a beauty pageant. Sure, these beautiful girls use wheelchairs and walkers, or struggle to speak. But the focus is still on their physical appearance, which some viewers may not appreciate. The point Curran is trying to make is that even disabled girls are beautiful. Laudable, but aren't we hoping to impart to girls that what's inside is more important than what they look like? It'd be easier to celebrate a documentary that focuses on something other than a beauty contest. Miss You Can Do It is heartwarming and sweet, but viewers may feel conflicted watching, even as they fall in love with each and every determined, sweet and beautiful girl they see onscreen.
You'd have to be made of stone not to dissolve into tears when Teyanna's mom talks about how nurses advised her to put her infant daughter in an institution, because she was never going to be able to walk or to talk. Raised at home by a loving family instead, Teyanna does both. Ali fights her spina bifida with therapeutic horseback riding; Tierney wants to take home the big trophy at the pageant, but what she'd like most is a friend.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.