A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is less outrageous than the reality TV show My Super Sweet Sixteen thanks to a plotline in which the birthday girls discuss raising money for charity. But you can still count on plenty of scenes of girls begging their daddies to get out their checkbooks for extravagant party plans and a whole lot of backstabbing from snotty, cliquey girls you're supposed to have fun hating. There are also plenty of plugs for designer clothes and sports cars, the bands Hello Goodbye and Pretty Ricky play, two girls from the reality show come to the party, and a date takes place at Chili's restaurant. A bone is thrown to charity work, and one main character is vegan (yet eats lots of ice cream?).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
BFFs Jacquie (Regine Nehy) and Sarah (Amanda Michalka) are reunited when Jacquie transfers to Sarah's high school. But even though the friends share a birthday and want to plan their sweet 16 together, it's obvious they've grown apart when Jacquie begins spending time with Taylor (Alyson Michalka), the snottiest girl in school. When Taylor tries to stop Sarah from turning the party into a charity event, Jacquie and Sarah cancel the joint party and set out to one-up one another. When both girls have their unbelievably predictable "ah ha" moment, remember that this is still MTV. The charity kids jump out of a fire truck to applause and are promptly brushed under the red carpet when two "sweet 16s" made famous in the reality show arrive. Follow that with an elaborate party, a fashion show and models on stage, and a performance by Pretty Ricky.
Is it any good?
This isn't a film, it's a marketing opportunity. Which should be no surprise to anyone, since it's based on a reality show that's about selling those most elusive of teen dreams: extreme popularity bordering on celebrity, the perfect party that's all about you, and your very own sports car. But since that's what you get -- along with lots and lots of bratty behavior -- from every episode, MTV decided to feign a conscience when they added a real story line.
So did MTV slap together enough intrigue to go along with their sales pitch? Barely. It just feels fake all around, with bad acting and a by-the-numbers script. Fake-vegan Sarah gets a kiss at the end from her Damon look-alike, but it'll barely keep you interested.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about setting limits. Why are they important? How does it help tweens and teens when they become adults? Teens: How often do parents give in when you beg for expensive things? Families can also discuss how the movie compares to the TV series. Are the characters here more admirable than the teens featured on the show? Why? Does the movie have a different message than the show? If so, what is it? Does this make you want to have a party of this scale? Would you be happy/content having one within your family's means?
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