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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real positive messages.
Positive Role Models
No real positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
While waiting outside a nightclub, three men attack one of the lead characters, striking him in the face with a club before running off; some blood. Some pushing and shoving between club-goers trying to get into an exclusive nightclub.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief female nudity, breasts. Scene in which one character walks in on another having sex on a couch. Lead character contracts gonorrhea and herpes from a sexual encounter; the man who gave her these diseases initially tries to shame her and accuses her of being promiscuous before admitting he gave them to her. Sex is a recurring topic of conversation.
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Infrequent profanity. "Bulls--t," "bitch," "sucks."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent drinking and cigarette smoking. A lead character uses cocaine on a regular basis -- use indirectly shown through excessive sniffing while walking out of bathroom stalls and conversations about his drug use. Character caught by law enforcement with several baggies of cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Days of Disco is a 1998 coming-of-age film following the lives of a group of post-Ivy League friends who frequent an NYC disco circa 1980. There's some cocaine use (never directly shown, but strongly implied), cigarette smoking, and drinking. One of the lead characters, in the aftermath of her first sexual encounter, contracts gonorrhea and herpes; she's initially shamed by the man who gave her these venereal diseases and accused of having multiple partners before he confesses. While waiting outside a nightclub, three men attack one of the lead characters, striking him in the face with a club before running off; some blood. There's brief nudity in two scenes: A woman is topless on the dance floor, and a woman is shown topless while having sex. Language includes "bulls--t," "bitch," and "sucks." Overall, the adult content and relatively slow pace of the film make this best for mature older teens and up. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This '90s look back at the '70s still works. Movies immersed in nostalgia work best when the romanticized past has enough "warts and all" to remind viewers that the past wasn't any better than the present. This is a huge part of why The Last Days of Disco remains entertaining years after its release. Set in 1980 during the last months of a discotheque that will be going out of business soon, the scenes wonderfully evoke the gray area between eras. In the discotheque, one sees both 1970s liberation in the fashions, standout individuals, and subcultures, and the onset of the preppy-yuppie conservative reaction just on the horizon -- sexual liberation on one end, the rapid spread of herpes and other venereal diseases on the other.
Amid this backdrop, these characters are struggling to find themselves and their place in the world. They are neurotic, with precarious employment, suffering setbacks in their personal and professional lives. What emerges is how disco for them is a place for escape -- a place to forget their problems, even if they aren't successful in the attempt. The characters themselves aren't even necessarily likable -- each flawed and pretentious in their own way -- but that's part of what makes the movie so good. Most people in their early 20s aren't always fun to be around or half as interesting as they think they are. It's the unflinching look at the flaws in the characters and the time that makes The Last Days of Disco a solid evocation of a unique time in American culture.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.