Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Raunchy Diaz, Timberlake comedy aims low, misses the target.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this raunchy comedy about a jaded, selfish, foul-mouthed middle-school teacher will likely attract teen fans expecting an over-the-top Apatowian laugh-fest, but what you get instead is an underwhelming film that's long on unlikeable characters (even though they're played by appealing stars like Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake) and short on wit or insight. There's plenty of swearing (including uses of words like "s--t" and "f--k" in front of tweens and teens), sexual references and innuendoes (including some simulated sex and lots of talk about breast implants), as well as dope smoking and drinking.
- Families can talk about how the main character is portrayed. Is she worth rooting for? Why or why not? Do characters have to be "good" to be heroes/heroines?
- What kind of message is the movie sending about consequences and character? Do people like Elizabeth succeed in real life?
- Discuss how the drug references are handled in the movie. Are the characters who use drugs glamorized or portrayed as troubled? Which is more realistic?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The positive messages aren't obvious, but if you dig, you can find a couple of take-aways: Love what you do or don't do that job at all. And be happy with yourself so you don't have to look elsewhere for validation.
Positive role models: The least conscientious of teachers finds success and gets her way (though, in a small step toward enlightenment, she does learn a little about accepting her body and not doing anything just for personal gain). Characters who care are portrayed as overzealous and geeky, and only the "bad" teacher has enough edge to be cool.
What to watch for
Violence: A woman drugs/"roofies" a man so she can steal something and blackmail him later with compromising pictures. A teacher yells and berates her students, sometimes throwing a basketball straight at them (played for laughs). Characters yell at each other.
Sexy stuff: Plenty of raunch. A man simulates sex while clothed with a woman who's not his girlfriend (later, he's shown with a wet spot on his groin). The same woman seduces another guy with frank talk about sex. Lots of sex talk in general, as well as much discussion about breast implants, with different characters weighing in on what they think of a woman's need for plastic surgery. Some groping and kissing and scanty outfits.
Language: Frequent use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "son of a bitch," "t-ts," "damn," "laid," "goddammit," "hell," "oh my God," and more, sometimes said in front of children.
Consumerism: Some label-dropping: Jaeger LeCoutre, Mercedes Benz, Jim Beam. The main character is a gold-digger, and she pays extra attention to men who appear to have lots of money.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A teacher boozes it up while in the classroom. A student also catches her smoking weed with a pipe; later, she's shown using a bong. Beer drinking and shots.