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Parents' Guide to

The Gabby Douglas Story

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Strong positive messages in otherwise rote athlete biopic.

Movie NR 2014 86 minutes
The Gabby Douglas Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Inspiring true story, mostly well-done if a bit cliched

Gabby Douglas overcame great odds to become America's gymnastic sweetheart. This Lifetime drama does a great job overall and I think is very compelling to kids, with a winning performance by the actress playing Gabby - and with Gabby herself doing the stunts. I don't know why CM rated as 12 and up - but there are some difficult family situations in the beginning - with financial hardships resulting in near homelessness and the mom needing to take the kids and leave the non-working father. Younger kids may be bored by the length of time it takes for the gymnastics part of the story to develop. There is also the classic Lifetime melodrama, with some events being a little overdramatized and predictable.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The Gabby Douglas Story has just exactly the rhythm of an episode of Behind the Music. We meet our young protagonist, see the spark of talent and the flush of success, then obstacles are introduced, bringing our heroine down for a time, until she triumphs to the sound of soaring horns and bells.

The big-win-at-the-end formula is a predicatble one, but The Gabby Douglas Story is not without its charms, namely a palpable sweetness in the way Regina King's character rears her family with love yet strict firmness. Young viewers who watch the onscreen Gabby talking over her problems with her brother and sisters as they all do the dinner dishes together, and hear Gabby in voiceover repeating nuggets of her mom's wisdom will receive a potent positive message: Douglas' strong family bonds (and a whole lot of hard work) is what ultimately helped her triumph. Young athletes, particularly young gymnasts, will soak up the story of a girl "with a dream so big it'll eat you alive if it doesn't come true," even if parents find the goings-on a bit by-the-numbers.

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