Parents' Guide to

People You May Know

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Drama explores dishonesty on social media; cursing, sex.

Movie NR 2017 91 minutes
People You May Know Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Good Message. Poor delivery?

I think this movie was pretty good. The message over all, that I took, is don't be too dependant on what others think. Trying to be someone else is only going to make people like you for the wrong reasons. In this movie the main character finds this out the hard way.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This film feels largely clueless, although its heart is in the right place as it earnestly grapples with issues raised by the intrusiveness and ubiquity of online life. A woman at a bar tells Jed that even after meeting him in person, she would never seriously date him without Googling him. Pre-social media Jed maintains that he prefers to speak to people in person. The woman just laughs. What's difficult to accept here is that Jed is portrayed as two different kinds of guys: the shy one too afraid to tell his high school crush how much he liked her, and the guy who is willing to blatantly lie about himself in the effort to collect millions of followers. He doesn't seem to enjoy the supposed perks of his "fame," and he seems to have all the retouching work he needs, so we never learn why he participates in the ruse. The answer to that question would have given People You May Know the substance it lacks.

When Tasha teaches Jed how to stay relevant on Twitter, she encourages him to opine freely, even if he has nothing to say. The idea is that opinions reflect depth, but there's no recognition that the need to make up opinions and also keep them short epitomizes superficiality. This is a world that counts on short attention spans, where tastemakers tire quickly of what was cool just yesterday. What confirms the movie's cluelessness is the way characters try to redeem themselves in the end by being self-consciously honest online. There's no recognition that they're still pursuing the same ultimate goal -- to look good online -- substituting the use of truth for the use of lies.

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