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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While the lead character pays a certain price for his transgressions, things still work out relatively well for him in the end, despite his iffy, ill-considered behavior.
Positive Role Models
Lead character Nick Twisp -- a teen anti-hero -- is a model of problematic behavior (from crime to smoking to sex), even with his intrinsic sweetness.
Violence & Scariness
Some scuffling; some vehicular damage; some chase scenes. Explosions, arson.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extensive discussions about and depictions of sex, including masturbation, kissing, condom use, and intercourse. Some male shirtlessness.
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Constant strong language, including "s--t," "a--hole," "f--k" (and many variations on it), "bitch," "prick," "dick," "p---y," "bulls--t," "hell," "ass," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Copious comedic smoking by a high school boy's alter ego; also smoking by adults and references to alcohol. Extensive references to marijuana and "magic mushrooms," including unaware persons eating a meal dosed with said mushrooms. A boy surreptitiously has a girl's food and drink laced with sleeping pills without her knowledge so she'll flunk out of school.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although Youth in Revolt stars teen fave Michael Cera, this isn't his typical goofy/sweet role. The movie -- which is based on the same-named novel by C.D. Payne, which is also big with teens -- is full of sex, drugs, and bad behavior, including criminal activity, sexual activity, and drug use. All of this involves high-school aged kids, and while many of the film's more outlandish acts are carried out by the main character's alter ego, they still affect other characters. They also have some ramifications (including punishment), but ultimately the main character doesn't suffer too much -- so be ready to talk to your teens about real-life consequences for iffy behavior, no matter how "cool" it might seem. Expect lots of strong language (including "s--t," "f--k," and more) and a lot of sexual talk and references (including masturbation and condom use). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on a popular cult novel, YOUTH IN REVOLT is a wild, raucous tale of mad young love and remarkably bad behavior that also serves as a great showcase for teen actor Cera. He plays both hero Nick and -- thanks to the miracle of computer effect -- his alter ego Francois to well-honed comedic effect. Cera is best known for being the stumbling, mumbling nice guy; Francois finally gives him a chance to strut and swagger, and he blossoms into it. The nicely tuned supporting cast -- including Justin Long, Fred Willard, Ray Liotta, and Jean Smart -- also wrings nice moments out of the script in brief, brisk scenes.
The movie's road-trip narrative makes for a fairly episodic story, and some of Nick's attempts and actions in pursuit of Sheeni's affections are decidedly desperate, dangerous, and deranged; if you're looking for a story with a moral ending, you may want to look elsewhere. But Youth in Revolt has enough chaotic charm and feral funny stuff to make it a bizarre, blackly comedic entry in the teen-flick canon.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.