Winning London

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Winning London Movie Poster Image
Olsen twins head to international competition, pursue boys.
  • G
  • 2004
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

All students can step up and apply themselves academically when the pressure is on.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The American team members bribe high school delegates with snack foods to gain passage of their U.N. resolution: They win a round in the competition by dubious ethical means. Although they're mildly rebuked, none of the Americans seems repentant.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

High school couples kiss.

Language

While engaged in pretend sword fights on the Globe Theatre stage, one fighter from Los Angeles declares, "The Dodgers sucketh." During a viewing of torture paraphernalia, one wag observes, "Nice rack."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Winning London is a 2001 Mary-Kate and Ashley title about an American high school team that goes to London to compete in the Model U.N. There is an emphasis on study and scholarship, but the kids have a good time, too, and form romantic partnerships. High school girls and boys kiss. The American team members bribe high school delegates with snack foods to gain passage of their U.N. resolution; although they're mildly rebuked, none of the Americans seems repentant. While engaged in pretend sword fights, one fighter from Los Angeles declares, "The Dodgers sucketh." During a viewing of torture paraphernalia, one wag observes, "Nice rack."

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What's the story?

Studious Chloe (Mary-Kate Olsen) is picked to take her high school team to the Model U.N. in London. Her twin sister, Riley (Ashley Olsen), manages to tag along even though history and politics are not really her thing. Other international teams fiercely compete over several days, displaying their knowledge of world affairs and political and historical facts about the countries they represent. Supposed real-world problems are thrown at the teams, and the Americans prove resourceful at finding solutions. The twins pursue boys they like as they battle to the finish.

Is it any good?

Nothing in WINNING LONDON -- including the acting and the script -- achieves a quality level higher than that of the dreariest TV mediocrity. There are half-hearted attempts to address complex issues but only in the most simplistic manner. When the Americans use questionable methods of persuasion to make alliances with other countries in the quest to pass mock U.N. resolutions, the authorities remind them that integrity and honesty count in the final competition scores. But the movie doesn't really address unfair advantage in any serious way other than mentioning it, and there are no real consequences for the American team when they take the low road. For die-hard Olsen twins fans only.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the place of ethical standards in competition. Was it fair that the American team bribed the delegates? Is it OK to use any methods to win?

  • What is the appeal of the Olsen twins? Why are they still so popular?

  • How does this movie compare to other Olsen twin titles?

Movie details

For kids who love tween tales

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