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Parents' Guide to

Strictly Ballroom

By Sarah L. Thomson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Zany ballroom dance farce is a romantic treat.

Movie PG 1992 94 minutes
Strictly Ballroom Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 12+
Love this Australian romantic comedy classic movie for it's satire of the ballroom dancing world. Watched it with my 12 and 9 year old who enjoyed it, and it was great to introduce my eldest to a different film style. Having said that the commonsense movie review didn't mention the following points 1. Brief scene with bare chested man on top of a woman in lingerie. He rolls off as he can't continue due to the stress. 2. Use of a gay slur (f*g) 3. Comments about a dance partner being too chubby/fat 4. Poor behaviour/treatment of the husband 3. Sexually suggestive looks and moves Eg. a) Camera takes view point of older man panning up to a woman's face from her chest b) Older man takes sleazy opportunity to show woman a sexually suggestive dance move,(probably went over the younger one's head though). Had I known, I probably would have waited a few more years before watching this with the kids. Whilst the eldest could grasp the concept of satire, it may have been lost a little bit on the youngest. The reviews did mention the swearing, which I was aware of. (Mostly sh*t, bullsh*t)
age 9+

A life lived in fear is a life half lived!

Such a delightful film! So many great topics touched on - bravery, being yourself, preserving, letting go of the judgements of others, arbitrary standards, family expectations, cultural expectations, plus great music, great acting, GREAT costumes. It's fine for younger kids too, just gets a teensy bogged down in backstory in the middle that younger kids might not find interesting. Overall, a total winner!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (6 ):

More than a Cinderella story in tuxedos and sequins, this film balances successfully on a fine edge between farce and drama, keeping our sympathy for the characters without neglecting the laughs. Plot twists abound, and Fran's wrong-side-of-the-tracks family turns out to know quite a bit about dance and about life. They teach the film's most important message: "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived."

Director Baz Luhrman's eye for lush visual detail never fails, and the dance sequences are a treat. An understated but achingly romantic rumba to a Doris Day song stands out, as do some marvelous scenes with Fran's flamenco-dancing father. This is a feel-good movie with a keen comic edge, guaranteed to lift your spirits. Outrageous, visually delectable, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Movie Details

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