Parents' Guide to

The Virgin Suicides

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Intense movie about teen suicide; violence, sex.

Movie R 2000 97 minutes
The Virgin Suicides Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 14+

14 and up!

I watched this movie when I was 14. I understood it, and why the characters had done it, and the negative affects of the strictness of the parents. I would say MATURE 14 year olds can watch this. There's a brief sex scene, and one of the girls becomes a sex addict. There's lots of conversations to have while watching this movie, and the book is great too. The stories really important, but make sure your child knows what big a deal suicide is, rather than how some people might glamorize it.

This title has:

Educational value
1 person found this helpful.
age 17+

Haunting and complex

Haunting...yes...stylized...yes...Sofia Coppola succeeds in creating a film that centers male gaze as the plot device and showcases adolescence in its cold complexity. There are no definitive answers in the film, no satisfying plot developments, just questions and more questions as we bear witness and are still left in the dark, or blinded by the light emanating from this film.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (15):

First-time director Sophia Coppola, who also wrote the screenplay, based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, has a wonderful eye for detail and composition. The production design is perfect in every detail. There are painfully accurate moments as teenagers try to make conversation ("How'd your SATs go?" "You're a stone fox!") and connection (when the boys finally call the girls on the phone, all they can bring themselves to do is play records to them). Kirsten Dunst is marvelous as the most adventuresome of the girls, and Josh Hartnett is fine as the high school hunk with a broken heart for every puka shell around his neck. And the narration, beautifully read by Giovanni Ribisi, is lyrical and moving.

But ultimately, the movie falters. It tries for metaphor -- those dying elm trees, an asphyxiation-themed debutante party at which people wear gas masks decorated with glitter, the girls as princesses in a tower waiting for princes who can't save them. And it tries for distance from its time or milieu. But like the collection the boys hold onto for years, the movie has "not life, but the most trivial list of mundane facts."

Movie Details

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