Pretty Outrageous

Movie review by
Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
Pretty Outrageous Movie Poster Image
Teen girls form a band in tame family comedy.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 76 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

The kids have to work together, though this isn't clearly conveyed in their actions. One girl has to overcome shyness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A layabout uncle actually comes through for the kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pretty Outrageous is a tween-friendly comedy about a group of Southern California girls who form a band while being cared for by the layabout uncle (Dan Richardson) of two of them. The movie is aimed squarely at kids and is appropriate for virtually all ages. While the girls do experience conflict, there's no violence, sex, drugs, or language content to worry about. And there are light messages related to working together and overcoming personal obstacles.

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What's the story?

PRETTY OUTRAGEOUS follows four British girls living in a fancy Los Angeles beach community who decide to form a band. While being cared for by the layabout uncle of two of them (Dan Richardson), they try to craft a song to win a Battle of the Bands. Jamie Adler, Ladybird Ward, Isabella Blake-Thomas, and Scarlett Rayner star.

Is it any good?

This low-budget musical comedy could use a few more laughs and general tightening up, but it's acceptable fare for young kids. Pretty Outrageous is very much in the style of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon movies: It's clean and generally conflict-free. The girls seem nice enough, though their individual personalities aren't clearly defined. Among the young cast members, Adler is an Olivier nominee and Georgia Marie Hair (playing an older, sullen teen) has a lovely singing voice. The movie's laughs come from Richardson -- who's also a Brit, but who pulls off a flawless Southern-California accent. His deceptively slow-burning takes are genuinely funny and sometimes unexpected.

This is a family affair: Director/co-writer Elizabeth Blake-Thomas cast her daughter, Isabella, as a lead (she writes two of the songs) and two other of her children in small roles. Some truly puzzling things happen in the end, but this is the kind of movie that's not intended for rigorous analysis. If it were, we'd all be wondering what all these English girls are doing in the Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey area in the first place -- and why two of them barely react when they find out their grandfather might be about to die.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the behavior of the girls as a group in Pretty Outrageous. What causes the conflict that briefly breaks them up? Why do you think they were able to get back together? Are they role models?

  • What do you think motivated the girls to form a band -- the need to make music? A chance to hang out and have fun? The chance to win prizes? Something else?

  • How would you describe the movie's messages? Did you learn anything from watching? Do you think the filmmakers intended you to?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love musicals

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