Shawn Mendes: In Wonder

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Shawn Mendes: In Wonder Movie Poster Image
Docu explores star's upbringing, anxiety; some language.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Kids can excel when they have adults who support and believe in them. Nobody is born a legend. It takes work to develop talent and perfect skills. Fame can be hard to weather, so it's helpful to have friends and family to ground you.

Positive Role Models

Shawn is confident in his skills and objectives, but he's also open about living with anxiety and cognizant he's no "superman." He works hard to maintain his voice and has long demonstrated perseverance in pursuing his dream of being a professional musician. He's grateful for all that he has accomplished and shows patience and kindness with his many fans, but he's also often homesick and leans on his family and girlfriend for support. They're always there for him.

Violence
Sex

Shawn and girlfriend Camila Cabello share hugs and kisses. Song lyrics talk about love and romance. We see Shawn from the waist up in the shower. Screaming female fans follow Shawn wherever he goes, shouting that they "love" him, crying and breaking down when he touches or hugs them.

Language

Various versions of "f--k." "Stupid." "Oh my God." "Jesus Christ."

Consumerism

The documentary promotes Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello songs, albums, and concert tickets. Shawn made his name on Vine, which is mentioned frequently. MTV, VMA, Jingle Ball Tour, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, Rogers Centre, Allianz, FIFA are mentioned, seen, or heard. Shawn lives a wealthy existence, in penthouse apartments with expansive city views and staff to help him, though his parents still live in the house he grew up in and he seems to drive himself around when he's home in Toronto.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults are glimpsed drinking wine at home and what appears to be alcohol in plastic cups during a post-concert celebration.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Shawn Mendes: In Wonder depicts Mendes as a clean-cut, generous, humble musician who has worked hard to find success. He demonstrates perseverance and talks about setting aside ego, keeping gratitude front of mind, focusing on positivity, and also living with anxiety. One repeated scene shows him from the waist up showering, and he and girlfriend Camila Cabello share hugs and kisses, something the screaming girls that pack his arena shows are surely jealous of. When they get a chance to be near him, they profess their love and break down crying. Shawn handles attention from fans with grace, kindness, and individual attention. We tour Shawn's childhood home, neighborhood, and bedroom, meet his family and best friends, and see where he hung out as a teenager when he was getting his start posting Vine videos. We also go behind the scenes at concerts and on tour buses. Language includes versions of "f--k."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byctaft55 December 15, 2020
Kid, 11 years old November 29, 2020

Wow

This movie was really good and inspiring, It had 11 f-words but was really inspiring for people who love Shawn Mendas, want to become a singer or like to sing.... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 6, 2021

11 and up

I think it should be whatever the parent thinks. I just loved it because watching my favorite singer's documentary it was awesome. Thank You Shawn Mendes f... Continue reading

What's the story?

SHAWN MENDES: IN WONDER follows the singer during a year-long world tour. The camera goes backstage at concerts, inside tour buses, inside his apartment, and around his Canadian neighborhood and childhood home. The artist reveals some of his vulnerabilities and the pressures of fame and a successful musical career, from anxiety to constant fans to vocal cord injuries. He doesn't get to spend a lot of time or have much of a "normal" twenty-something's life with live-in girlfriend, the singer Camila Cabello. But the two share insights into their relationship. Shawn's mother, father, and sister are shown to be a constant source of comfort and support for him, as are his childhood friends. The documentary includes home video footage of Shawn as a young boy and teenager.

Is it any good?

If Shawn Mendes: In Wonder is to be believed, the award-winning artist is just a hometown boy from suburban Toronto who loves music. A nice Canadian who, thanks to a supportive family and an "Olympic athlete" persistence at perfecting his skills, made it big. Here's Shawn, crying over a canceled concert, only consoled by his mom via Facetime. Shawn, driving himself around Toronto and offering instructions to a fan at a stoplight on how to turn the phone to selfie mode. Shawn, talking about his non-normal "normal life" with girlfriend Camila Cabello in their first apartment together. Those thousands of young female fans filmed swooning over Shawn at venues around the world? This film is for them, and they'll love him all the more for it.

But there's content here for the non-swooners too. It involves Shawn's upbringing and home life, what he misses about home, his fears for the future, the anxiety that has accompanied fame. His parents' families immigrated to Canada from Europe. His parents still live, with his high school-aged sister, in his childhood home (and maintain his bedroom intact). He's kept his childhood friends. A schoolteacher helped him pursue his dreams. This is all, you could argue, the view we're meant to see here -- no substance abuse, no celebrity outbursts, no rumors, nothing overtly sexual (you can YouTube the Mendes-Cabello "Señorita" video later). This documentary is entirely focused on the young man and his music, and that's something to be appreciated.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of a successful musical career, some of which are depicted or talked about in Shawn Mendes: In Wonder.

  • Why do you think the musician was so affected by having to cancel the concert in Brazil? Why do you think this was such a difficult decision for him? Who did he turn to for reassurance?

  • Shawn admits he struggles with anxiety, used to eschew fame, and sometimes would just like to be home watching movies with his family. Were these revelations new to you about the artist? Were you surprised by any of them?

  • How has Shawn demonstrated perseverance? Why is that an important character trait?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Character Strengths

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