Wild Child

  • Review Date: December 11, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Too much teen drinking/bad behavior for Emma Roberts fans.
  • Review Date: December 11, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Spoiled, bad behavior has few consequences for most of the movie.

Positive role models

Mrs. Kingsley, the Headmistress, has a knack for relating to teens. She speaks to Poppy in a way that she can understand, while standing her ground. "You are cleverer and better than this," she tells Poppy after a round of bad behavior. "Show [your father] that you can rise to the occasion. Don't give up on yourself." Poppy actually listens to her.

Violence

Mention of the main character's mother who had died.

Sex

The ease with which girls make out with guys is startling. Poppy's friend is in bed with her boyfriend, of which the viewer sees bare shoulders, implying that they are naked. Girls tromp about in next to nothing. References to sexual positions.

Language

"S--t" is the first and second word in the movie. From there it doesn't get much better: "bi-yach," "suck," "asshole," "Christ," "bloody", "asses," "slutty," "whorey," "s--t brain," "prostitute," "bitches," "friggin." Most of these words are frequent insults lobbed among girls.

Consumerism

In Malibu it's all about the clothes and the swag. Mentioned specifically: Jimmy Choo, Gucci, iPhone, People magazine, US Weekly, Target, Manohlo Blanik, etc...

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Underage buying of alcohol and consuming in excess. Girls are so drunk they tell of being passed out in one another's vomit. One girl vomits during the lacrosse game the next day.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens will want to see this girl-bonding movie because of Emma Roberts' star appeal. And though there is a redemptive quality to the movie in the end, the damage is done by the very fact that her father would let her have unlimited Jimmy Choo's and Gucci ensembles in her closet to begin with. Although she proves to be a good kid after all, Poppy gets away with a whole lot of obnoxious behavior, which is the norm among her American friends.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Poppy (Emma Roberts) wakes up one morning in her beautiful Malibu Beach bedroom to the realization that her new stepmother is going to be moving in. She takes action, inviting a gang of friends over to ravage the moving truck, stealing or vandalizing all of her stepmother's belongings. Then she jumps off a cliff into the ocean. Her father (Aidan Quinn), enraged and red-faced, berates her and sends her to England to an all-girl's boarding school. There she tries to get kicked out of school by breaking as many rules as possible so she that can get back to Malibu. Somehow her roomates tolererate her long enough to help her in her scheme to get expelled. In the meantime, the teens bond and become friends. When Poppy is brought before the school's Honor Court, she has fully come around to realize what true friendship means. But is it too late?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The ending of WILD CHILD is satisfying, but only because Emma Roberts is bright enough to allow a redemption for her rotten character to shine through. Here is a girl so spoiled that she can't think straight. Don't parents in Malibu have boundaries too? Ostensibly, she has been acting the spoiled brat because her mother has died and she is mourning. But what excuse do her spoiled friends have?

 Luckily, there is a world outside of Malibu populated with adults and peers who are emotionally balanced and loyal to one another. Does it take such an extreme life change to knock sense into a girl like Poppy? Does Poppy deserve the kindness that her peers at Abbey Mount prep school shower her with? These real-life questions hang over the movie, detracting from what could amount to an effective moral tale. However, we viewers can suspend our disbelief only so long before we question whether the means justify the end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about consumerism. Poppy and her American friends have everything that money can buy. Where do they get the money? Learn more about how kids spend money, and how the media targets teens to do so. 

  • What do you think of the stereotype of rich, spoiled American kids? Is the portrayal of teenage life true to life in your community?

  • Poppy admits to having a "hole in her heart" since her mother died. How could her father have better addressed her misery? Was sending Poppy to boarding school the proper thing to do?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 30, 2007
DVD release date:November 17, 2009
Cast:Aidan Quinn, Emma Roberts, Natasha Richardson
Director:Nick Moore
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some crude sexual content, language and drinking - all involving teens.

This review of Wild Child was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 13 year old Written byroyalblue246 August 8, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Not that good of a movie.

Verry pridictable!! One of those movies you have seen a hundred times!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old June 6, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

So funny apart from the really bad teenage rolemodels

So good. Okay so maybe it was a bit rude, but hey, what do you expect from a teenager. The first two words were sh*t, her friends ask her how many boys she shagged and they try to get alcohol even when they are under-age( consequently poppy and her friends end up with a hangover and as poppy's friend says" she woke up in a pool of sick"). But it is still really good despite all of the language!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old August 9, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Wild Child

Not Emma Roberts Suitable.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide