A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the movie includes scenes that show and imply child abuse. One character reportedly hits her youngest daughter (bruises are visible on the girl's back), a drug dealer sends a 12-year-old to school with a joint to sell, and an irresponsible mother yells at her three daughters, offers her 12-year-old a drink, and insists they all watch a brutal beating in order to make them "tough." The mother smokes cigarettes and wears revealing clothing. The kind grandmother dies of lung cancer. There's yelling and some pushing and hitting between a father and a bad boyfriend; the showdown begins with violent car crash and ends with ferocious beatings in the street. Reference to a rape. A drunken sexual initiation leads to off-screen vomiting instead of sex. Brief kissing leads to off-screen sex. Language is mild, but the derisive terms "Steppin' Fetchit" and "slave" are used.
What's the story?
Monty (Idris Elba) is a good-hearted mechanic who works to support his three daughters: 5-year-old China (China Anne McClain), 7-year-old Lauryn (Lauryn Alisa McClain), and 12-year-old Sierra (Sierra Aylina McClain). They're living with his ex-mother-in-law (Juanita Jennings), until, at the film's start, she dies of lung cancer. Monty briefly brings the girls home to his one-bedroom apartment, but then their long-absent, excessively trashy mother Jenny (Tasha Smith) arrives, demanding custody -- not because she actually wants them, but because she wants to make Monty miserable. She and her live-in boyfriend -- drug dealer/local menace Joe (Gary Sturgis) -- gain custody of the girls and proceed to use them for various evil ends. Jenny provides Monty with an estimable obstacle while he tries to nurture his relationship with his new girlfriend, high-powered lawyer Julia (Gabrielle Union).
Is it any good?
None of Tyler Perry's movies are subtle, but in DADDY'S LITTLE GIRLS, he makes the mistake of omitting his broadest invention: the wildly popular drag character Madea. Instead, this film digs into Perry's most melodramatic and stereotypical inclinations to date, exploring class conflicts, single parenting, and the horrible ways that drugs, violence, and gang-bangers affect regular folks in an Atlanta neighborhood.
A disappointingly outsized villain, Jenny fills up the space left by Madea -- only she's not as strong, entertaining, or even convincing as Perry's alter ego.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: February 14, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: June 12, 2007
- Cast: Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, Louis Gossett Jr.
- Director: Tyler Perry
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: thematic material, drug and sexual content, some violence and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.