A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Standing Ovation will be highly appealing to tweens, but there's a lot of mean-spirited behavior and name-calling ("idiot," "stupid," "losers," "fatso," etc.) to contend with. In a comic subplot, a precocious young girl, armed with a cobra, an electric eel, and scorpions takes on cartoonish mobsters and thieves. The potentially scary moments involve a guard dog and the cobra. Lots of stereotypes make appearances: an evil tycoon, mean girls, a gay impresario, stage parents, and street-wise kids. Two leading characters deal with and are saddened by the earlier death of a parent (one has lost a mom, the other a dad).
What's the story?
"The Five Ovations," a group of 12-year-old singer-dancers, want to compete in a music contest which will get them to New York City, on national TV, and a grand prize of one million dollars. Their strongest competition is "The Wiggies" a family of older, snarky teens from their own hometown, with talentless, stage-struck parents who will stop at nothing to win. The Ovations make a game try, reaching out to an odd assortment of almost-talented outsiders to help them. A sub-plot involves revenge for a father's death, as well as searching for stolen money and a dad who has abandoned his family.
Is it any good?
It's painful to watch so many kids trying in earnest to make this movie work. They have too much to contend with: a hackneyed story, terrible unoriginal music and choreography, ridiculous dialogue that is only funny because it's so poorly delivered, and, most of all, a clueless director who tackles music videos, staged dances, and performances that are well beyond his ability and the talents of everyone involved.
The final screeching, cringe-worthy element is a little girl who wants to be a star -- her name "Alanna Wannabe," of course. Given all that, there are 10-year-old girls who truly love this movie and who can overlook all that's bad for the eye candy of the costumes and the fantasy of becoming a star.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the parents in this movie. What could they do better? What are some qualities that you think are important in parenting?
The movie says: "Bad people make everyone around them feel bad." Does that ring true to you?
Making a music video would be fun. Could you work with friends to make one? How would you do it?
- In theaters: July 16, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: November 29, 2010
- Cast: Alanna Palombo, Joei DeCarlo, Kayla Jackson
- Director: Stewart Raffill
- Studio: Kenilworth Film Productions
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: Arts and dance, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some rude behavior
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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.