A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Restless Virgins is a TV movie based on a real-life sex scandal that occurred in 2005. That scandal involves an incident of group sex between young teenagers; the viewer doesn't see the act but it is suggested and discussed. The viewer also sees teens making out in groups in a hot tub, two girls kiss each other and then another boy. Much is made of one character's virginity, including a crude barb that he hasn't "traveled to vagistan." Young girls are treated as disposable and cruelly mocked, as when a group of boys holds up numbers rating the "hotness" of various girls who walk by. Teens drink, smoke marijuana out of a bong, and take "party" favors" that look like pills. There are insults like "douche" and mean behavior by rich kids.
What's the story?
In RESTLESS VIRGINS, Sutton Academy stands in for the real life exclusive prep school Milton Academy, where an incident of group sex with an underaged girl caused an actual scandal. Vanessa Marano is Emily, an outsider at Sutton who has a crush on Lucas (Max Lloyd-Jones), a boy at the edges of the popular crowd at school. Said popular crowd of rich and beautiful students are obsessed with the "hand-off," a school tradition wherein graduating upperclassmen give something meaningful to younger students. The preening crowd of Sutton rich boys decide their something is going to be a sex tape -- of them all having sex with one troubled young girl. When the sex tape gets out, Emily and Lucas are forced to choose sides.
Is it any good?
Watching a movie about a teen sex scandal is going to feel seamy, no matter how you slice it. But at least Restless Virgins plays down its more salacious aspects; all we see of the sex act is a girl lightly kissing a boy as the rest crowd around her. And in Restless Virgins' world, teens get into hot tubs in their underwear and kissing stands in for orgies. Nonetheless, there are lots of scenes that parents will be uncomfortable with teens watching, such as times when young characters talk enthusiastically about getting drunk, and when young men talk about young women as if they were so much toilet paper to be used and flushed away.
Lead Vanessa Marano is charming to watch and transcends awful dialogue like "What the eff, Anya? I want to have some memories outside of the damn library!" But the love story tacked on to the sex scandal story is clunky and awkward; the tale would have been better told as a straight-up salacious scandal. Nonetheless, the film is a mildly enjoyable distraction, albeit one parents might prefer to watch alone than with their teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's characters. Are we supposed to like the characters in Restless Virgins? Which characters, if any, are presented as likeable? Do the villains of the movie have good sides to them? How does the viewer see this?
Do you know anything about the scandal at Milton Academy in 2005? Read something about it. How did the producers of Restless Virgins change the story to suit their movie?
Some characters in Restless Virgins are presented as being rich, some poor. How can you tell? Do they wear different clothes? Talk differently?
Themes & Topics
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