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The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning
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 comedy has all the raunch of the American Pie movies and all the sexism of There's Something About Mary. It encourages girls to base their worth on how they look and how they can use their appearance to manipulate men. It also may lead teen boys to want to drive recklessly. The film also says that General Robert E. Lee, who lead the South in the Civil War, was "the greatest general," which may disturb families of color. The film shows teens drinking and implies that teens have sex. While there's considerable violence, it's so comic it's hard to take seriously.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE DUKES OF HAZZARD: THE BEGINNING, delinquent teenagers Bo and Luke Duke (Randy Wayne and Jonathan Bennett, respectively) are sent to their Uncle Jessie's (Willie Nelson) farm for rehabilitation. As soon as they get there, Jessie's old moonshine running buddy and current county selectman Boss Hogg (Christopher McDonald) puts the screws to Jessie. If Jessie can't come up with his mortgage in a few days, the county will foreclose on his loan, taking his farm. The only way to make the money is for Bo and Luke to soup up a water-logged Charger and run moonshine across the countryside. Meanwhile, smart, sensitive, and bookish Daisy Duke (Maxim model April Scott) discovers that to be taken seriously in Hazzard County, she needs to wear "daisy dukes" (short shorts) and a tight shirt that shows her cleavage.
Is it any good?
This ABC Family resurrection of the old t-and-a-and-car-crash staple The Dukes of Hazzard is just as raunchy, sexist, and titillating as you might expect. It serves up lots of eye-candy along with erroneous messages about body image and teen relationships.
Viewers may be alarmed at how emaciated Daisy looks. She's just one of several women who are judged for their appearance and sexual availability. An older woman at a carnival who expresses interest in Luke is called a "psychic whore." In short, this is the kind of movie that casts a former Real World cast member (Treshelle Cannatella) as Luke's love interest.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how women are depicted here. Parents may want to ask girls how they feel when they're dressed sexy and explain the complicated feelings that many women have when they receive sexual attention, ranging from delight to fear to self-consciousness. How do you feel comfortable dressing? What kinds of clothes would you not feel comfortable in and why? Do you have mixed feelings about how you want to dress and be seen by others? It's also a good opportunity to talk to boys about how they treat girls. Is a girl's appearance all that matters? What do you look for in a girlfriend? How do you think girls were portrayed in the video?
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