The Secret Lives of Dorks
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Secret Lives of Dorks is a high school comedy that trades on all the classic teen clique cliches. There are the jocks, the cheerleaders, the stoners, and, of course, the titular dorks. Plenty of obvious jokes are made at the expense of each social group -- the dumb football player, the ditzy cheerleaders, the socially awkward nerds -- and there's some swearing ("s--t," "ass," etc.), a few crude sexual references, and some kissing, as well as plenty of physical jokes, including flatulence and accidental groping.
What's the story?
Payton (Gaelan Connell) has lusted after Carrie (Riley Voelkel) for years, but she's way out of his league. She's a cheerleader, and he's a dork, and -- in THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS -- it's clear that there's little mingling between the high school social classes. Too bad Payton can't see that fellow dork Samantha (Vanessa Marano) is crazy about him. Carrie, who's not nearly as dumb as she acts, realizes that the best way to rid herself of this persistent and unwanted suitor is to teach Payton how to actually interact with girls and get him to ask Samantha on a date.
Is it any good?
The Secret Lives of Dorks trades on the same rigid social structure seen in so many other high school comedies -- and all the same tired cliches. Will the socially awkward nerd ever find the courage to ask a girl on a date? Will he learn to be comfortable with who he is, instead of trying to be someone he's not? Of course he will. Does he get teased mercilessly by the football players? Obviously. Is there anything original here? Not really.
The film does introduce a few clever bits, including some fun animated sequences and a recurring joke about former NFL coach Mike Ditka, but that can't make up for a plot that has no surprises.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how The Secret Lives of Dorks portrays the high school experience. Is it accurate? Believable? Does a high school comedy have to be either to succeed? Why or why not?
How does the way the movie depicts the school's various social groups conform to the standard images seen in so many other teen comedies? Do you consider it stereotyping?
What role does sex/talking about sex play in the story? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Who's a better match for Payton -- Samantha or Carrie? Who does he prefer, and why?