A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Francis Ford Coppola's fantasy dramedy focuses on a 45-year-old Peggy Sue waking up in her 17-year-old body. With another chance to live her high school life, she decides to explore her wild side by rebelling (she drinks from her parents' liquor cabinet) and sleeping with the school's mysterious loner. But she also decides to be kind to the class nerd and reevaluate her decision to marry her popular boyfriend. Most of the issues she deals with (sex, partying, life after high school) still resonate today with teens.
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What's the story?
At her 25th high school reunion, Peggy Sue Bodell (Kathleen Turner), recently separated from her high school sweetheart Charlie (Nicolas Cage), passes out and wakes up in her 17-year-old body. After realizing she's not dead, just stuck in her 1960 self, Peggy Sue decides to take advantage of her second chance at adolescence. Once she comes to terms with her strange situation, Peggy Sue exudes a confidence and maturity that belies her physical age. She befriends the class nerd (a future Bill Gates-type billionaire) and enjoys a starry night of passion and poetry with the school's sexy beatnik (a magnetic Kevin J. O'Connor).
Is it any good?
In 1986, Turner gave one of her career-best performances as the titular character in Francis Ford Coppola's touching time-travel fantasy, PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. (She's been out of the Hollywood system for so long, it's easy to forget that she was once an A-list actress.) Remarkably, Turner, with her eyes ablaze and her smile aglow, perfectly conveys every moment of her character's new youth. The energy is in her voice, her looks, her smiles, her movements. In nearly every scene, Turner sells the performance with such relish, it makes another try at senior year incredibly appealing.
In addition to seeing Turner at her best, Peggy Sue features early performances from Cage (who's Coppola's nephew), Jim Carrey, and the director's own young daughter Sofia as the pesky little sister. It's telling that two decades later, it's those supporting players, and not Turner, who are Hollywood stars. If Turner knew then what she knows now...
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about adolescent angst and sexuality. Although it's not common for high school sweethearts to marry right after graduation anymore, it still opens up a discussion of teen relationships and what the pressures are these days. How have attitudes toward adolescent sex changed since 1960? Since Peggy Sue says "if I knew then what I know now," parents can share what they would do differently if given a second chance at high school. Kids: If you could change a decision you made in the past, what would it be?
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