A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that that this documentary directed by actor Adrian Grenier explores the relationship between celebrity and society by following a 14-year-old celebrity photographer. The film contains lots of strong language (including “ass,” “pissed,” “s--t,” and “f--k”), scenes of paparazzi pushing and shoving each other to get closer to celebs (and occasionally celebs pushing back), and some crude sexual references. Beer occasionally appears onscreen, and there are references to being drunk and using drugs. The film also highlights some of the questionable parental decisions the teenager's mother makes in supporting her son’s career.
What's the story?
TEENAGE PAPARAZZO is a documentary that looks at the relationship between the world of celebrity and society through the eyes of a teenage photographer. Entourage star Adrian Grenier follows Austin Visschedyk, a savvy and precocious 14-year-old paparazzo, in order to get a first-hand look at the world of the paparazzi. Meanwhile, interviews with celebs like Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria Parker, Lindsay Lohan, and Entourage co-star Kevin Dillon offer some interesting insight into their fears about the tabloid industries’ growing lack of boundaries. Members of the paparazzi, including veteran photographer Steven Sands and blogger Perez Hilton, and a variety of media experts also offer their points of view about the role the paparazzi play in the entertainment industry, the ethics surrounding today’s tabloid journalism, and the role that celebrity plays in people’s everyday lives.
Is it any good?
This documentary is a little long, but the insight offered by the wide array of actors and comedians helps keep it interesting. Overall, it offers some interesting observations about how paparazzi, tabloids, and the entertainment industry function within today’s voyeuristic society. Viewers may find themselves with a lot to think about the next time they tune in to learn more about their favorite celebrity.
Directed by Grenier, the movie offers an in-depth discussion of the sociological and psychological questions that have emerged as the result of American society’s obsession with celebrity. But the real draw is Visschedyk, whose own reality becomes blurred as he goes from being a curiosity on the tabloid circuit to a global sensation thanks to the attention he receives from Grenier and other media outlets.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of tabloids and paparazzi. Did you know that Alexander Hamilton started the first tabloid publication in America to spread rumors about Thomas Jefferson?
Movie studios used to create tabloid moments for their stars. Why did this change? When did paparazzi take over this job? How has technology like the Internet and cell phone cameras impacted the way the paparazzi work?
Paparazzi are often paid big bucks to photograph celebs engaged in negative behavior. What kind of impact does this have on the way we think about celebrities? Do you think it glorifies their behavior? Why or why not?
Parents: What kinds of things can you do to help your kids understand how their celebrity role models are being portrayed in the media?
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