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Parents' Guide to


By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Coming-of-age comedy drama has LGBTQ+ themes, language.

Movie NR 2023 103 minutes
Sweetheart movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This modern update of a familiar teen holiday romance movie stands out for its honest portrayal of social awkwardness, sexual anxiety, and living as a young queer person. Despite a lot of familiar cliches, Sweetheart manages to keep its bickering characters interesting enough to keep us wondering how Brooks' 17-year-old AJ will deal with her first real crush. Less compelling is a voiceover of AJ's internal monologue, which lets debut writer-director Marley Morrison fill in too many of the gaps between what isn't said. It results in a lot of predictable dialogue, with Brooks' performance sometimes becoming too one-note and single-paced.

Building out Smith's character -- and the object of AJ's desires -- Isla to be more than the kind of free-spirited dream girl who always seem to populate this type of story, might've helped add some depth. Likewise, the movie's one even-tempered, level-headed character, Steve (Samuel Anderson), is also sidelined as AJ's sister's always-obliging boyfriend, when perhaps he could've been utilized with a bit more imagination. If you can forgive the cliches, this is still a warm-hearted and inclusive look at growing up, which offers glimpses of plenty of talented newcomers in front of and behind the camera.

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