Picture This!

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Picture This! Movie Poster Image
Cute, but sends iffy messages to Tisdale fans.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The story centers on the social hierarchy of high school and the pressures to fit in with the elitist "cool" crowd. While disobeying family rules is made light of, there are some valuable lessons about listening to your conscience and not giving into peer pressure.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nearly every teen uses a video phone to communicate with friends and to
email embarrassing photos of classmates to their friends. A teen girl
deceives her father, sneaking out of the house to go to a party that
he's banned her from. Some girls play mean-spirited pranks on their peers to humiliate them. On the positive side, a teen finds the inner strength to make a difficult decision and to
appreciate her father's love for her.


Teens talk about sex in casual terms like "do her and dump her" and "hump and dump," but physical contact is limited to slow dances and one kiss. The main character swoons over the school's most popular boy, describing him as a "hottie" and vowing to do anything to get him to notice her.


Rare use of "hell," "damn," and "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One scene shows teens in a bar setting drinking what appears to be beer. A girl downs a bottle of her friend's allergy medicine after suffering an allergic reaction to nuts.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the teens in this movie are inseparable from their video phones and sometimes border on voyeurism with their exploitation of peers' embarrassing moments. In one scene, for instance, a girl snaps a photo of her classmate's partially exposed thong underwear and emails it to the entire student body to humiliate her. While there's nothing beyond a kiss and slow dances to see, teens use terms like "do her and dump her" and "hump and dump" to refer to potential casual sex. The main character's rebellious teen behavior (sneaking out to attend a party, lying to parents, etc.) is cast in a humorous light, but she does learn valuable lessons about listening to her conscience.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 and 8 year old Written byhannahmommy April 9, 2008

A little angry

We turned this movie off! I'll admit I was a little negligent, we didn't realize it was PG-13 until about 1/2 hour in, I made the assumption that it... Continue reading
Adult Written byBeckstar October 29, 2011

Not for kids

I would not let any child watch this. I think I remember in a scene, a guy leads a girl up the stairs and everyone thinks it's the ritual where a virgin lo... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old December 8, 2009
Kid, 12 years old April 29, 2009

OK Movie

This movie is pretty good. There is talk about sex and there is drinking at a party. The message is to have parents know there kid

What's the story?

For Mandy Gilbert (Ashley Tisdale), senior year means just one thing: It's her last chance to get school hunk Drew Patterson (Robbie Amell) to notice her. After a few carefully crafted plans -- and one major mishap -- Mandy finds herself on speaking terms with Drew, who turns out to be even better than she'd imagined. She's overjoyed when Drew invites her to his party, but her dreams are crushed when her lovingly overprotective dad (Kevin Pollack) grounds her for lying to him. It will take a lot of ingenuity -- and some crafty work with her fancy new video phone -- to get Mandy to Drew's party on time. Only time will tell if she and her friends will be able to outsmart Drew's jealous ex-girlfriend, Lisa (Cindy Busby), who will stop at nothing to ensure Mandy doesn't win his heart.

Is it any good?

Adorable and talented, Tisdale (High School Musical) shines once again in this role as the lovably irrepressible Mandy, who always manages to rise above the adversity thrown in her path. Though it's certainly a stretch to imagine Tisdale as a social outcast, she puts her heart into the role and manages to make the story believable. Tweens will enjoy the funny take on the social structure of high school and will cheer along with Mandy's friends as she challenges the popularity scale and sets herself apart from the catty popular kids just by being true to her heart.

That said, the movie definitely needs a bit of cautionary follow-up on a few levels, especially for impressionable tweens. Mandy often uses her video phone to lie to her dad, contriving proof that she's at a friend's house studying when she's really getting ready for a party he's grounded her from. Other characters use their phones to exploit their peers' embarrassing moments, snapping photos of them in compromising situations and emailing them to friends. And then there are the iffy phrases the teens use -- like "hump and dump" and "do her and dump her." Finally, the movie implies that popularity is based solely on inherent factors like socioeconomic class rather than on personality. It's too bad these iffy messages distract from some of the fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friends and peer pressure. What message does this movie send about friendship and relating to people who are different from you?

  • Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? How did you respond? Did you

  • feel pressured to change who you were?

  • Parents can also talk about

  • making mature decisions. Have you ever been forced to make a difficult

  • decision around your peers? Did you feel good about the outcome? Why is

  • it hard to go against the flow?

Movie details

For kids who love romantic comedies

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