A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List is a quippy, upbeat, heartfelt movie about friendship, evolving sexuality, and early 20-something city life that features frequent sexual situations, discussions, kissing, making out, and gay sexuality. There's some light drinking in clubs, frank discussions of parents' affairs and divorces, cute boys, casual hookups, and lots of skimpy, eye-catching clothing and flirtatiousness. Profanity includes "s--t," "bitch," and "damn." There are positive messages about enduring friendship, growing up, and identity, but the movie is best for teens who can handle the racy themes.
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What's the story?
Naomi (Victoria Justice) and Ely (Pierson Fode) have been friends since elementary school and, more than that, in love with each other. Their parents even had affairs with each other, leaving Naomi fatherless and both of them resolved to never let a boy come between them again. This wouldn't be a problem if Ely weren't in love with boys. As they navigate freshman year in college, city life, and the possibility of endless hookups, they struggle to hang onto their friendship while experiencing young adult life -- until a boy comes along and threatens everything.
Is it any good?
Based on a book, NAOMI AND ELY'S NO-KISS LIST is a charmingly unexpected romantic comedy that has fun with friendship, relationships, and notions of soul mates. Here, best friends Naomi and Ely weather sexuality, loyalty, jealousy, and love in ways that aren't typically explored outside of romantic partnerships, and though the relationships and their concerns may seem frivolous or shallow, they ring true for a lot of self-absorbed 20-somethings, whose lives are still as urgent and dramatic as they were in high school, although they have bigger responsibilities.
These aren't stellar role models, but they are relatable characters with expected -- though privileged -- urban problems. There's an earnestness and quirkiness to the film's style and dialogue that keeps the plot moving. There aren't a lot of profound messages here aside from ideas about forgiving friends and the various forms soul mates can take. Plus, lots of young adult drama centers on kissing, boyfriends, and matters of the heart. Teens who thrive on dramatic relationships, young love, and a glamorized, fun-loving depiction of city and college life will be entertained.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about movies that explore coming out. Why do you think they're so popular?
Do you think Naomi and Ely's No-Kiss List accurately portrays gay sexuality and friendship? Why, or why not?
How does the film glamorize city life? Do you think it's an accurate portrayal of life in New York City? Why, or why not?
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