#RealityHigh

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
#RealityHigh Movie Poster Image
Predictable teen comedy has cursing, underage drinking.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Be true to yourself. Don't change to be popular.  Admit mistakes. Watch out for bullies. "Focus on what's important to you, and everything will fall into place."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character learns lessons about self-acceptance, trustworthiness, honor, standing up for yourself, and independence. Lots of ethnic diversity in school, including interracial relationships. Rival is typical "mean" girl with a selfish agenda. 

Violence
Sex

Kissing. Beach attire, skimpy clothing, and some sexy dancing. A few sexual references (e.g., "the hottest girl is supposed to have sex with the hottest guy," a conversation about virginity). A couple of friends are revealed to be gay. A streaker runs through a scene, covered only by a signboard.

Language

Frequent swearing, obscenities, and insults: "s--t," "ass," "bitches," "crap," "f--k," "hell," "slut," "pee my pants," "pig breath," "d--k," "goddamn."

Consumerism

Bob's Big Boy restaurant, YouTube, GoFundMe, Apple products, Fox TV.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of social drinking, including by underage kids. Some teen drunkenness. References to smoking "weed." Two boys smoke pot with the school principal. Beer pong. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that #RealityHigh, set in a California high school, tries to combine laughs with reflections on staying true to yourself, taking the moral high ground, and the shallowness of popularity. It follows a familiar romcom plot in which girl meets boy, loses boy, and (spoiler alert) gets boy back. Along the way, a cast of ethnically diverse characters make choices that will supposedly influence their lifelong behavior and values. Expect a comic view of underage drinking, marijuana use, and partying, including keggers, tequila, drinking games, drunkenness, and bongs (there's even a scene in which the uptight school principal joins in, happy to get stoned with the boys). There's also a lot of swearing, including "s--t," "ass," "f--k," "bitches," "slut," and more. Plus, you can expect verbal bullying, an over-the-top villain, insults like "pig breath," some skimpy clothing, and a few heartfelt kisses. Bottom line? The only surprise here is a wonderfully engaging lead performance by Nesta Cooper.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAniya T. October 9, 2017

ABSOLUTLEY INCREDIBLE!

It was absolutely incredible a very outstanding movie with a great message for teens.
Adult Written byElizabeth K February 7, 2018

Good core message,

#RealityHigh endeavors to take the moral high ground when it comes to accepting people and bullying but falls short in so many other areas. These high school st... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCherry123 November 25, 2017

Sooo good

I think this movies, gives high school students that are not among the popular crowd a sense of belonging and a chance to feel noticed, just like Dani.
Kid, 10 years old July 13, 2018

Good

Some drinking,drugs, and kissing but that's really it

What's the story?

Dani Barnes (Nesta Cooper) is passionate about animals and besotted with Cameron Drake (Keith Powers) in #REALITYHIGH. A high school senior, she's a terrific student from a warm, loving family, hoping for a scholarship to UC Davis with its stellar veterinary school. Her BFF is Freddie (Jake Borelli), who carefully hides his more-than-just-friends feelings. Still, Dani knows she's a bit of an outlier -- she's not one of the "hot" girls, and her decades-old crush on Cameron is going nowhere. The real trendsetter at school is a social media star, Alexa Medina (Alicia Sanz), who's jealous of Dani even though Alexa's got Cameron and an ever-attentive tribe of kids who follow her everywhere. Change is coming, however. After Dani and Cameron bond over a dog at the vet clinic where Dani works, the young man finally notices this girl he's known all his life. Swept up by her dream-come-true's attention, Dani quickly moves into the school's inner circle. Popular, now shedding her girl-next-door image for glamour, the teen makes some really bad choices. As a matter of fact, Dani's on the verge of losing her moral compass as she immerses herself in her newfound popularity. Lucky for the smart, likable teen, Alexa's jealous maliciousness helps bring Dani to her senses and learn some valuable lessons about what's important.

Is it any good?

Nesta Cooper shines as Dani, but her charismatic performance can't save this predictable, trite story and an amateurish production that falls short on all counts. Messages are valuable, but they've been delivered before, many times, in a much more compelling fashion. The film lacks pace, energy, cohesiveness, and artistry. One-dimensional characters are the rule. And Dani's downward ethical spiral is ludicrous given the character as she was introduced. Other than Cooper's performance and adorably precocious work from Leah Rose Randall as Dani's little sister (but even that is a worn-out convention), #RealityHigh has little to recommend it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the drinking and marijuana use in #RealityHigh. Was it shown simply as fun and carefree? What consequences, if any, did Dani have for her behavior? 

  • Which story elements are the most predictable in the film? Does predictability bother you in a film, or do you still enjoy the "journeys" that lead to the expected conclusions?

  • Is this movie generally an accurate portrayal of teen life? Why or why not? What emotions seemed relevant to you? Have you had challenges that were as easily solved as Dani's and Cameron's? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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