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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is permeated with teen sexual energy. There's some making out, some sex talk among teens (using words like "trouser snake" and "hard-on"), and a teacher talks about and pulls out a wrapped condom during a sex ed class. The movie also features a very consumer view of beauty: change your clothes and you'll change your life. Also, Louise thinks the only way anyone will like her is if she casts a spell on them.
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What's the story?
Louise Miller (Robyn Lively) is a typical teen: she's not the most popular, she's not the most fashionable, and she's not the most confident. Consequently, the boy of her dreams, Brad (Dan Gauthier), doesn't know she's alive. She suffers the typical teen terrors: a sadistic teacher, her personal diary entry about Brad gets read aloud in class, and she's picked to be in charge of the costumes for the school play instead of the lead actress. She's so tortured -- that is, until her 16th birthday. Then, suddenly she can get people to do what she wants -- surprise, she's a witch!
Is it any good?
Like most fabulously awful '80s teen movies, Teen Witch offers some great wish fulfillment. What girl hasn't wanted to make her grabby date disappear, or turn her bullying brother into a dog? And what teen hasn't wanted to cast a spell to make herself popular and to force her crush du jour to fall in love with her?
What's not great about the film is its insistence that the way for girls to get boys to like them -- and perhaps vice versa -- is to be a different person. When Brad says "Every guy wants to date the most popular girl in school," it seems like a good time to remind teen viewers that Brad's pretty lame. Aside from his hunkiness, there's not much to recommend him. But that's enough for Louise to risk an important friendship and change into his ideal girl.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how it mattered more to Louise to look good to Brad than it did to be herself. What's more important in the end? Do you ever feel obsessed with your looks? What do you do to snap yourself out of it? What are some consequences of making other people's opinions of you more important than your own?
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