A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that sex, drinking, and drugs dominate the content of this movie, implying that they’re an integral part of prom night and making them seem like an everyday presence in teens’ lives. Teens talk about having sex, oral sex is implied in one case, there’s a lot of making out (including guy-on-guy and girl-on-girl kissing), and one girl succumbs to pressure put on her by a friend, who insists that not sleeping with her boyfriend will chase him away (but they don’t complete the act). Alcohol is present most of the time with little consequence for teens, although an adult wrecks a car while under the influence. Expect lots of language (“bitch,” “damn,” and “ass”) and some implications of drug use. That said, the main characters find strength in their bonds of friendship and turn their misfortune around in the end, learning some important things about themselves in the process.
What's the story?
Senior prom comes but once in a lifetime, and hopeless romantic Clark (Daryl Sabara) has been planning for months to ensure it’s a memorable night for his longtime girlfriend, Sharon (Angela Timbur). What he doesn’t expect is that she’ll dump him moments before the big event, or that instead of dancing the night away with her, he’ll spend the evening with her two best friends, Heather (Haley Ramm) and Neve (Chloe Bridges), who have also had their nights ruined by their dates. When their intoxicated limo driver nearly kills them in a car crash and they wind up rubbing elbows with a gang of hoodlums, it sets off a series of unfortunate events that eventually lands them in jail and tests their bonds of friendship.
Is it any good?
This entertaining comedy will certainly entice teens. Its casual portrayal of sexuality makes a strong statement about the role that sex plays in real teens’ lives, though, and it’s bound to get the gears turning for teens if they tune in. Although the movie steers clear of presenting the act itself, the dialogue is pretty graphic (mentioning masturbation, orgasm, and “tapping that ass,” for instance), girls are shown in their bras and panties, and sex (including oral) is implied on a few occasions.
The movie takes a similar stance on teen drinking and, to a lesser degree, drug use. Alcohol plays a big role in the characters’ prom night, and with the exception of some destructive behavior at a teen’s house, there’s no consequence for their actions. The bottom line? The main characters emerge from their tribulations stronger and more self-confident, having met their fears head-on and resolved festering issues, but teens are bound to see all of the movie's marginal behavior as an enticing glimpse of what could be for them. If you do give your teens the go-ahead, be sure to take the opportunity to talk to them about the important issues the story raises.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sexuality. What messages does this movie send about teen sexuality? Teens: How do these messages compare to your experiences with the issue? Do you feel pressures related to sex? What factors contribute to these pressures?
Teens: How much of a presence does alcohol have in your social circle? Do you think the media plays up or minimizes the role that alcohol plays in teens’ lives? Why do you think teens are inclined to drink?
Teens: What are some of the pressures you feel on a regular basis? What do you expect of yourself in school and extracurricular activities? How do your relationships with friends and family help you manage these stresses? Do they ever add to your stress? If so, how?
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