X/Y doesn't have an agenda. Here are four friends who just don't have things figured out yet, and, as a result, they spend their time making bad choices in a misguided attempt to meet needs they don't quite yet understand. Although this is a fairly accurate take on what it means for many Westerners to experience their twenties, and some of the scenes are painfully accurate depictions of awkward young adult encounters, the filmmaker refuses to take this a step further and help us understand what each character longs for or how they all come together in a way that tells us something bigger about humanity or this particular tribe. Instead, there are a handful of vignettes with no connective tissue. That the characters are unlikable is not necessarily a problem, but without understanding what they seek or compensate for, we never get far enough past the surface to care much.
Some teens may be drawn to this seemingly sophisticated, disaffected, and dark portrait of adulthood, but there's a lot of casual sex, some talk about STDs, cheating, casual drinking and smoking, and callousness toward each other that is worth helping them understand in context: Why do these characters make these choices? What, in essence, is wrong with them? Is this a fair portrait of 20-somethings, or is this really a portrait of privilege? It's all good fodder for teens mature enough to examine these issues, if that's possible to do without unduly romanticizing them.