A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Todd uses binoculars to spy on the girl next door as she gets ready for bed. We see plenty of Gina in skimpy bathing suits, but no nudity. One boy who's in a bubble says he wants to get a hooker when he gets out; the two obliquely discuss masturbation. Teens kiss on the couch and the two leads make out in the back of a van (of course, Todd's in his space suit.)
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teenagers experiment with smoking and then pot smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this story deals with the themes of loneliness and teenagers maturing into adults. Some teens have fun at Todd's expense, but the movie clearly indicates that this is hurtful behavior. Older grade school kids may enjoy the charming story, but parents should be aware of some mature content, especially sexual situations. Preteens will probably get the most involved in the story. Teens' interest in this video is debatable. They'll relate to the growing pains but may laugh at the over-the-top acting style. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Travolta certainly attacks his part with gusto; even if this movie reeks of after-school special, his wide grin has movie star written all over it. THE BOY IN THE PLASTIC BUBBLE was a huge hit when it aired on network television in 1976, solidifying young Travolta's reputation as a mega star. The movie's fame endured, even inspiring a Seinfeld episode where the gang goes on a wacky journey to visit a bubble boy. Whatever its original goofy charm, the movie hasn't aged terribly well. One 13-year-old viewer ridiculed Travolta's performance and found the story and acting "too melodramatic."
By the movie's second half, this teen was closely following the story. She really liked the scene where Todd goes to school in his "space suit" because it was "just so embarrassing." That's the thing: Whatever its over-the-top elements, the story has an odd way of sneaking up and hooking you.
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Our Editors Recommend
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