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The Even Stevens Movie

The Even Stevens Movie Poster Image
Our Review
age 8+

Based on 4 kid reviews

age 12+


The Even-Stevens was supposed to be a comedic movie; instead it was horrific. I was horrified by many aspects of the movie, and I would certainly not recommend it to any younger viewers. Let’s start with the greatest problem in movies and t.v. shows for children today- inappropriate sexual content. In one scene in the beginning of the movie, Louis, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, beckons a girl named Tawny who is thought to be his friend to “come sit next to Papa.” Louis has a special seat reserved for Tawny next to his chair. This came across as very suggestive as “Papa” and “Daddy” are thought to be sexual terms. The way Louis said this statement and the way Tawny responded also made it very clear to mature members of the audience that his intentions were not pure. This is not only inappropriate for anyone under the age of twelve; it is also very disturbing for any women and girls watching this movie as it seems to normalize sexual harassment. Tawny showed no interest in Louis before he asked her to sit next to him, so his “demand” was very inappropriate. Tawny is also supposed to be Louis’ friend, so for him to think of her as a sexual object just because she is a girl was extremely hurtful. This scene made me pray that the women and girls of this movie were treated better by their male counterparts “behind the scenes.” Not only will younger children be confused by this scene, it will also make boys think that it is THEIR RIGHT to demand inappropriate things of girls, and for them to treat girls as objects. This movie also seemed to show children that boys and girls cannot be JUST friends; their relationships eitheir have to be romantic or sexual. I felt like even though the “come to Papa” was an inappropriate scene for a children’s movie, this flaw could be corrected if there was some sort of punishment for Louis’ harassing behavior. That would have been a bonus point! I would have added a scene where Louis’ parent make him apologize to Tawny and he faces some sort of punishment, OR even better- Louis realizes his friendship with Tawny is worth more than his sexual pleasure from her. I am aware that the latter is unlikely to ever occur for a teenage boy- both on-screen and off-screen. Anyway, the worst part of this scene is when one of Louis’ guy friends (who doesn’t seem to have a high level of social intelligence) sits in the chair next to Louis and says, “I want to sit next to Papa!” Louis gives an exaggerated sigh and eye roll- which is supposed to incite laughter in the audience. I will admit- I gave this scene a pity laugh, but now that I think about it- what exactly was I laughing at? The innocent and friendly guy friend who could probably have autism or some other learning disorder? The sexual harassment of a girl by a guy she considered her friend? The complete disregard for the feelings of both Tawny and the guy by Louis? Louis’ disappointment in not being able to sexually harass Tawny? Tawny’s near escape from harassment? Or the fact that there was no punishment for Louis’ sexual harassment and no comfort for Tawny? The possibilities are endless, but I must say I am deeply disappointed in the screenwriter of this movie for trying to pass this off as comedy. The screenwriter is a probably a white, straight male who has a distorted sense of humor. Think about the messages you want your daughters and sons to recieve from media- gender equality is important, you should respect women and girls, that friendship between boys and girls is normal, there will be consequences for unjust actions- this movie has none of that. Again, if your children are under twelve, they probably wouldn’t retain that much from the movie- but even then, this is probably not the kind of movie you want them to see at their age. My biggest problem with this move is this- passing off uncomfortable situations for girls and women as normal or funny. Maybe movies like these are the reason that most women have been sexually harassed at least once in their lifetime, including yours truly. I definitely feel like secxual harassment should be shown in movies where it is appropriate, because it brings awareness to the topic. Here is where it is inappropriate- when there is no consequences for the character who sexually harasses, when it is present in a movie meant for children, and when it is presented in a comedic fashion. Alright, let’s move on to the next problem. This is not really an issue with appropriacy- it’s an issue with casting. The woman who plays Ren, a fourteen-year-old girl, appears to be at least twenty-five. Are we serioulsy supposed to believe that she is graduating middle-school?! Ren’s friends also look like grown women. And her brother, Donnie, is supposed to be graduating high-school but looks like a thirty-year-old man. The youngest son’s age is not mentioned, but he looks like he’s in high school. Which would make him older than his older sister…? Anyway, at least the parents look like parents and the family looks like a family. Sort of. The next thing in the movie that almost made me scream out loud happened on the island, “Mandelino.” Basically, Ren finds a guy- again. Can we talk about her ex for a second? Yeah, let’s do that. So, Ren is fourteen- why the heck does she have/need a boyfriend in the first place?! Parents, raise your hand if you would let your daughter/son date at fourteen. No hands? That’s what I thought. Maybe children dating in the media is what encourages children to date in real life. Because, let’s face it- children and teens are heavily influenced by the media while they are still developing. Anyway, this Ren has a boyfriend- her mom is fine with it, her dad is not- typical, but not stereotypical- so that is allowed to be funny. The boyfriend’s name is Gil- she meets him after her middle-school graduation- perhaps suggesting that Gil is not in middle school; he looks like he is in high school. Gil appears to either be: a) very distracted/fidgety- perhaps he has ADHD? b) preocuupied with the syrups on the table- perhaps he has OCD? c) is the screenwriter trying to show him as not very smart? d) he is trying to avoid Ren. Well, option b and c are kind of unlikely, because Gil delivers the news that he is going away to Maine over the summer to be a camp counselor. He also announces that he would “like to keep his options open” when he goes to Maine, so he is temporarily breaking up with Ren. Gil would like to “pick things back up” when he return from Maine. First of all, this is supposed to be a children’s movie. What is with all the relationship drama?! Second of all, Gil’s honesty is quite commendable- at least he told Ren what he was going to be doing in Maine! However, Gil’s expectation to “pick things back up” when he comes quite crazy. Gil doesn’t appear to understand the commitment and loyalty that a romantic relationship requires, or the feelings that occur when in a romantic relationship...which is kind of funny, I guess? I mean, comedy is always at someone else’s expense, but I feel this scene would be more amusing to adults than children. This movie is clearly not for children under twelve! It should be rated PG-13! Well, Ren’s heartbreak and anger in this scene is quite understandable, but she seemed more upset about being temporarily dumped than by his statement about “picking things back up.” Oh well, typical middle-school girl, I guess? It is kind of sad that kids are mostly shown as innocent and simple-minded, because in real life there is usually a lot going on under the surface. Well, that’s another issue. So, back to the topic: what happened in Mandelino. Ren had just broke up with Gil- whom she had dated for a grand total of three months- and was heartbroken and trying to distract herself from how much she missed him. Honestly, it’s quite unclear why she missed him- unless it was just for his physical attributes? Gil didn’t seem to care much about her at all- why was she so emotionally invested in him after only three months? Perhaps some flashbacks to good memories of Ren and Gil would help the audience understand what exactly the relationship was. It could be that Ren is just the type of girl to get easily attached to useless guys, or that there was more to Gil than meets the eye. I don’t know how/why their three-month relationship was so important to Ren, but I’m no relationship expert. Moving on…! Once in Mandelino, Ren immediately falls for Mootai. Well, the whole storyline of the Even-Stevens is that they are tricked into being on a reality show, and “Mootai” is one of the actors paid to fool the Stevens into believing they are on a distant island with a native population, rather than just a couple miles off the coast in Catalona. The scene that concerns me is when Ren is scared by a snake in the jungle, and Mootai uses his “snake magic powers” to save her. Seriously? Are we ever going to get over this whole damsel-in-distress thing? I want to see strong, capable women on t.v. and movies- women who can protect themselves and defend themselves- in realistic ways, of course. Young girls who watch movies with scenes like this will grow up to believe that they will need a man to take care of them, and that they cannot survive on their own. This is not the kind of mindset that 21st century women should have. Another one of the main themes of the movie that really bothered me was Mr. Stevens having a problem with his wife being the breadwinner of the family. It is only natural that Mr. Stevens be upset that he is unemployed, but does he really need to be jealous that his wife is employed? I am well aware that this situation occurs in real life, but I am so sick and tired of seeing misogynistic male behaviors shown as normal and acceptable. Perhaps if boys were shown better role models on T.V., then they would grow up to be men who believed in gender-equality. However, for that to occur, we need more female screenwriters and directors! The next thing that I wanted to address was that there was a lot of unecessary romance. I felt that the mom and dad holding hands and the peck-on-the-lips kiss...was okay and nothing that kids wouldn’t know about. But Louis, Donnie and even Beans (a boy that Ren was supposed to be baby-sitting) wanting hugs from the “native” girls was very suggestive. And the whole romance with Ren and Mootai got way too out-of-hand for a children’s movie. I believe that there should be no romance AT ALL in movies for children under twelve. Let the kids be kids, for God’s sake! I’m not really sure what the screenwriter was thinking when he wrote in that elaborate kiss for Ren and Mootai. It would have been completely appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but I think that kind of passionate kiss makes young children uncomfortable because they are not really sure what is going on. Another thing I wanted to address was the character Beans. The boy who plays Beans appears to have Down Syndrome. It felt like the casting director casted him because he looked “funny,” which is quite cruel. Beans was used throughout the movie to provide comedic relief, but if it’s at the expense of how he looks, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Let’s talk about the overall plot of the movie. There is a lot of humor associated with suffering, so that’s not really a great thing to teach your kids. This movie encouraged the audience to laugh at things that were not funny at all- people being tricked, starvation, sexual harassment, heartbreak, and even violence. In one scene near the end, Ren fakes pushing Louis off a cliff. Even though there was nothing gory or gruesome, and pushing Louis off was just a prank, it still was a bit shocking to the audience. The prospect of one sibling killing another is really a horrifying one, and it might scare small children. Sibling rivalry was constant during this movie, but Ren and Louis do have a heart-warming moment near the end- when Louis says he loves to mess with Ren but he would never hurt her. So, that makes up for them fighting during the whole movie. Another concern I had with this movie is that Donnie is depicted as dim-witted. First of all, no one going to college is “stupid.” Second of all, why is it okay to make fun of people who have a lower than average intelligence level? This was a constant theme in the movie- Beans was made fun of, Louis was made fun of, Donnie was made fun of, etc. And yes, I will acknowledge that all the characters who were made fun of in the movie are male. I know this is an example of gender-inequality, and I would say that the female characters should have been depicted as “stupid” as well, but really I believe that no one should have been made fun of because of their intelligence level. I am okay with characters being made fun of for stupid things they said, or decisions they made, but not their intelligence level, because that is just low. Children should be taught to be emphatethic to those who don’t understand things as well as they do, because life is harder for those people. Those people often have learning diabilities, such as autism and dyslexia- perhaps Donnie struggled with the latter. They could also have been born with a genetic condition such as Down Syndrome- like Beans. Or just not understand certain things as well as everyone else- like Louis’ friend from the chair scene. When children are shown films like this one by their parents, their parents are basically approving and affirming that all the content in the film is what they would like to teach their child. If you would not like to expose your young children to sexual harassment and violence, please don’t show them this film. If you would like your sons to believe in gender equality and feminism, please don’t allow them to watch this film. If you want your daughters to sleep well tonight, kindly don’t show them this film. -Thank you for reading-

This title has:

Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 8+

It's pretty good!

I have never seen the show, but the movie is good! It's kind of funny and it's very entertaining. I ALWAYS watch it when it comes on Disney.
age 8+

It was actually one of my favorites!

One of my favorite movies, it is so funny! It was cleverly made, well thought out. I loved all of it (although I skipped through the parts of Ren and her crush 'Motai' on the island) the jokes are funny, not cheesy, I'd recomend it, and its funny that the whole town was watching them on TV (Mostly worried, some intertaned) My favorite line is when Beans accedenlly farts in Luis's face and he screams "Mother of pearl Beans.... MOTHER OF PEARL!" Haha... seriously just watch it.

This title has:

Too much sex
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 4+
The movie is really good. The series is just okay for me, though.