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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong message about being happy no matter what your circumstances. After a tragic accident, Mia is at first despondent, but eventually she realizes that she can either give in to despair or choose to pursue happiness.
Positive Role Models
Armando is completely devoted to Mia, and his love and support helps motivate her to not give in to self-pity. And Mia learns that life goes on, whether you can walk or not, and that she can choose to either wallow in grief or seek fulfillment.
Violence & Scariness
People shove each other around during arguments. A woman slaps a man after he touches her suggestively. Mia's injuries are the result of a car crash.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some tender kissing and a few discussions about whether paralyzed men are capable of having sex. A transsexual discusses her artificial breasts, nicknamed Thelma and Louise.
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Swearing includes infrequent use of "f--k," "p---y," and "piss," as well as "jerk," "hell," and "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Some Apple products on screen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One discussion about selling marijuana. Some smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Musical Chairs is an inspiring drama about a ballroom dancer who must pick up the pieces of her life after a car crash leaves her in a wheelchair. At first she refuses to even think that she'll have much of a life, but a fellow dancer's devotion helps her realize that she can live -- and love. There's some smoking and a discussion about selling pot, plus some moderate swearing (including infrequent use of "f--k" and "p---y"), as well as some flirting and kissing. A transsexual character discusses her artificial breasts. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
MUSICAL CHAIRS is uplifting, but so very formulaic. Bonilla has charisma, and he can certainly move, but every step he takes seems lifted from the standard-issue overcoming-adversity script. Supporting cast of quirky underdogs? Check. Second-act complication that threatens to derail both romance and Mia's path to recovery? Check. Training montage? Yep. And a dramatic finale where the main characters, against all odds, manage to shine. What do you think?
Still, fans of dance movies and/or uplifting tales -- especially those on the younger side who aren't already jaded about this kind of story -- may find it an entertaining escape.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books with Characters Who Have Physical Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate