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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Terry the Tomboy is a movie extension of a recurring character on AwesomenessTV, so young fans of her skits will want to tune in for this extended version. Parents will appreciate that the story incorporates prominent positive messages about being true to yourself, shrugging off peer pressure, and valuing true friendship. There's some flirting between teens, one of whom lies and tricks her way into a cute guy's affections, but this proves to be her downfall in the end. Teens tell each other to "shut up" and "shut your mouth" and that someone or something "sucks." A few instances of injuries (Terry hurls rocks at people with her slingshot, and she gets shocked repeatedly) are short-lived and meant to be funny. Ultimately, though, it's the reminders to like who you are even if others don't that kids will remember from this funny movie.
What's the story?
School's out, summer's here, and Terry the Tomboy (Lia Marie Johnson) has a long to-do list to fill those glorious empty hours. Top on that list is winning the county fair's pie-eating contest, which calls for countless hours of training with her faithful pal Duncanty (Noland Ammon). But when a handsome stranger named Brett (Charlie DePew) moves in across the street, Terry finds herself inexplicably distracted from both the contest and Duncanty's attention, much to her smitten friend's dismay. And when her ex-BFF Britannica (Audrey Whitby) sets out to turn Brett's eye, Terry decides to ditch her tomboy image to compete with her popular rival.
Is it any good?
It's delicate -- and sometimes futile -- work to transform a favorite Internet character designed for three-minute sketches into a viable movie (think Fred many times over). But some unexpected magic happens at the hands of Internet sensation Johnson's TERRY THE TOMBOY, and the result is laugh-out-loud entertainment that boasts some really likable themes about self-image, relationships, and standing up to conformity. This is a girl who salivates over grilled meat, favors flannel because it's comfortable, and isn't afraid to be seen with dried pie on her face. She's unique, she knows it, and, more importantly, she loves it.
Fans of AwesomenessTV will like that this movie incorporates markers from Terry's skits, including unpredictable cut-ins and a series of the self-proclaimed tomboy's wisdom-imparting guides to various aspects of life. Impressively, though, the movie doesn't rely solely on this familiarity to entertain. The story is simple enough -- girl meets boy, girl changes image to turn boy's eye, girl decides to embrace her individuality instead -- but the trick is in how convincingly Johnson sells the performance. Ultimately that's what will get kids to sit up and take note of the story's great messages about self-esteem.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about peer pressure. Kids: Do you feel pressure to look and act a certain way because of what your friends do? How important is it to you to fit in? To what lengths would you go to do so?
To what extent do celebrities influence how we want to look? Do your kids like to wear the same kinds of clothes or hairstyles as their favorite stars? Do they have any celebrity role models? What is it about them that your kids admire?
Were your kids familiar with Terry the Tomboy before this movie? Why do you think her character was chosen for a longer story? Did it work well in this format? Is she a positive role model for young girls?
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