Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
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 movie has a lot of non-explicit but mature material, including a 15-year-old boy's seduction by a middle-aged woman. Her friends show a lot of interest in him, too. Characters drink and smoke. Oscar gets drunk, which makes him vulnerable to Diane. And Diane tells Oscar that she can only keep his secret if she doesn't drink.
What's the story?
TADPOLE centers on15-year-old prep school kid Oscar (Aaron Stanford), who has a crush on his stepmother. Oscar comes home for vacation determined to tell his stepmother how he feels. But it is harder than he thought. There are too many people around all the time. And, when he does get her alone, it is a challenge to get Eve (Sigourney Weaver) to see him as anything other than her husband's bright kid. But the biggest complication is that before he can tell Eve how he feels, he is seduced by her best friend, Diane (Bebe Neuwirth). So, Tadpole combines the coming-of-age movie with some moments of sex comedy. Or, maybe coming-of-age movies always have some moments of sex comedy – making fun of the terror and humiliation of loss of control.
Is it any good?
Tadpole is as slight and charming as the title character. It's a silly premise, but it can be a silly time of life. Oscar is just outgrowing his childhood nickname of "Tadpole." He is a winning combination of young and old for his age.
The movie makes up for its weak and awkward premise with some moments of great humor and subtle insight. Oscar's talk with his professor father (John Ritter) about the importance of listening, and his own demonstration of the impact of paying attention on Diane's friends are nicely done. Stanford, Weaver, and Ritter are all first-rate and Bebe Neuwirth's performance is as dry and potent as a double martini.
Talk to your kids about ...
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
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.