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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Some Freaks is a gritty story about young adult life for misfit Rhode Island teens. Matt, who's tormented for wearing an eye patch, falls in love with Jill, who's bullied because of her weight. But their sweet romance is tested when Jill transforms in college. Expect sex scenes (with some partial nudity -- including part of a breast, a back, and a man's chest), as well as frank talk about sex. Language is frequent and strong, with "f--k," "s--t," and more used. Characters are bullied, and young people are cruel to one another (a fraternity hosts a "cattle call" party for pledges to have sex with girls they think are overweight). There are scenes of smoking and drinking, the latter sometimes to excess. One character kisses his crush while the crush is passed out. This is edgy stuff, but there's an underlying message of compassion and empathy, and adults and older teens will be left with a lot to talk about.
What's the story?
In SOME FREAKS, Matt (Thomas Mann), a lonely teenager who wears an eye patch, is tormented at school and doesn't find much solace at home, either. He falls in love with the cool new girl, Jill (Lilly Mae Harrington), who's also bullied -- in her case, for carrying a few extra pounds. Jill's cousin and Matt's best friend, Elmo (Ely Henry), doesn't have it much better: he's struggling with his sexuality and figuring out how to be himself. Then, when Jill transforms herself in college, Matt has to figure out where he fits in.
Is it any good?
This drama starts out as a sweet coming-of-age story centered around three teens that viewers will be rooting for from the start, but then things turn dark. When Jill goes to college, she loses a lot of weight -- and Matt can't deal with her transformation. The characters' problems are universal -- teens dealing with bullies, body image, and sexuality -- but the devastating turn their lives take makes Some Freaks more than your average teen flick.
Harrington is heartbreaking as Jill. She's proud to have lost 50 pounds, but it doesn't really make her life any easier. When Matt discovers she's not who he thought she was, he can't take it. And we can't bear the pain they cause each other. You'll want to take Mann home by the end of the film and give him a hug. The film's tragic ending is brutal and full of unanswered questions. You won't be able to shake writer/director Ian MacAllister McDonald's powerful commentary on what it's like to grow up today when you're less than perfect.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Some Freaks depicts bullying. Why are the characters tormented? Does it seem realistic? What are your options in a situation like this?
Elmo kisses his crush after the boy passes out. Is it ever appropriate to touch someone who can't consent to it?
Patrick is peer-pressured by his fraternity brothers into doing something very hurtful. Have you ever been pressured to go along with something you didn't want to do? How did you handle it?
- In theaters: August 4, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: August 4, 2017
- Cast: Thomas Mann, Lily Mae Harrington, Ely Henry
- Director: Ian MacAllister McDonald
- Studio: Good Deed Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Brothers and sisters, Friendship, High school, Misfits and underdogs
- Character strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.