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Parents' Guide to

Rip Girls

By Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Coming-of-age surf movie has good vibes, strong role models.

Movie NR 2000 87 minutes
Rip Girls Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Escapism for tweens, this coming-of-age drama is a worthy addition to Disney Channel's stable of TV movies. It features solid friendships, first love, parental angst, and a lush Hawaiian setting (although the movie was actually filmed in Australia, which seems a shame). Lead character Sydney is a fine role model: Relatable but driven, she's a rebel with a cause, defying her father in the most gentle, considerate way. In fact, there's a refreshing absence of stereotypes throughout: Her stepmom is kind and supportive; the boy she likes is charming but not cocky; and when she makes friends with the local surf crowd, there's no bitchiness, just a genuinely warm welcome. It also helps that the cool kids can actually hold their own on a surfboard, making for some fast and funky action shots.

Rip Girls is a movie about having the guts to try something new -- feeling the fear but doing it anyway. And on this occasion, Disney gets the tone just right. There are some poignant moments that verge on sentimentality (and a dreadful bit of stock footage of a whale). But overall it's unpretentious and entertaining, with likable characters and a solid plot. Not to mention the rocking soundtrack, lush scenery, cool surf action, and all-round good vibes.

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