OK for kids 14+
Wry college comedy may go over young teens' head.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Damsels in Distress is a quirky indie that isn't the crude raunchfest audiences might expect from a college-set comedy. It's actually very tame, with the exception of some making out and a few references to a sexual relationship based on the boyfriend's unorthodox religious beliefs. The issue of suicide prevention is dealt with in a wry manner (the main characters get depressed students interested in tap dancing and musicals). Language includes several uses of "bitch," as well as "damn," "retard," and "ass"; drinking is limited to a scene at a fraternity party. It's notable that the main characters are female, since so many college movies feature guys in the spotlight. But with so much dialogue, it's likely younger teens may not be ready for Damsels in Distress' sophisticated humor.
- Families can talk about what Damsels in Distress is trying to say about self identity and what it means to be yourself even when no one around you understands why you're a certain way. How are the girls each an example of a unique personality?
- How is this college comedy different than other campus movies? Why are so few college comedies focused on young women rather than young men? Why are fraternity guys depicted as so dimwitted?
- The director is known for his dialogue; do you think a movie based on conversation rather than plot will engage teen audiences?
- How does the movie address sex and relationships? Is it realistic?
The good stuff
Messages: It's hard to say exactly what the messages are, since there's a good bit of lying and personality changing in the story. But one lesson is to stay true to your own voice and ideas even when surrounded by those who don't care or don't understand you. The girls have a mission and they're not afraid it will fail, because they're sure about themselves.
Role models: The girls are genuinely interested in helping others, but they also do so to make themselves feel better. The girls think it's better to date guys who aren't as intelligent as they are in order to mold them. Some of the girls' ideas are laughably naive, but they almost always have good intentions. On the other hand, two of the girls lie about who they are, where they come from, etc.
What to watch for
Violence: No actual violence, but since the central clique of girls runs a suicide prevention center, several supporting characters are suicidal.
Sex: Sexuality is mentioned or referred to on many occasions, but there aren't any graphic love scenes. After a make-out session between one of the girls and her beau, he explains that his religion requires him to make "non-procreative love" (an obvious allusion to anal sex, although the words aren't used). She nods in agreement, they begin to kiss, and the scene fades away. This belief is mentioned a few more times. Other characters kiss (in a couple of cases, the guy is with another one of the girls at the time), and one girl refers to a guy as a "player."
Language: "Bitch" is said the most often. Other curse words and insults include "bastard," "damn," and "ass." The word "retard" is also used two or three times.
Consumerism: One of the girls wears a Longchamp purse, but otherwise, there aren't any overt product placements.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking at college parties; some attendees are presumably underage.
Fan Reviews provided by
Minor Stillman, Major Gerwig by awhittak
Greta Gerwig is excellent in this film as a over-educated, under-experienced co-ed in Whit Stillman's latest. Unfortunately, the material is not Stillman's strongest. A bit of a let down after a 13-year absence. Definitely some funny bits, but the material is too reminiscent of Wes Anderson without the visual panache. However, still better that most of the offerings out this summer.
Damsels In Distress by Mimimph
I walked out at the risk of screaming from absolute boredom and dislike. I couldn't tolerate the characters, the dialogue of the story. I didn't care about any of them. It was awful.
Damsels in Distress by gogomoviestosee
We saw Damsels in Distress with a group of friends and we all loved it!
We all agreed that it was very entertaining and we left the theater feeling
uplifted. There were so many funny lines in the movie and the cinematography
and music were high quality as well. Very enjoyable!
Damsels in Distress by Peneflix
Why did this well- written, decently- performed anachronism of a deceased era, bore me to oblivion? College women in 50's garb running a suicide prevention clinic; clinging to the mission of saving the sanity, with doughnuts, of those who have not shown an ounce of intellectual integrity or ingenuity in accomplishing the feat on their own. Or the rescue of the dumbest college boys, whose IQs wallow in the single digits; they were minimally salvaged by their mediocre skills on the dance floor...."Damsel" originated in the French language; a single, fair maiden, powerless, yearning to be saved, preferably by a handsome prince; the "distress" lies in the absence of any valiant "knight" to save or be saved by these "Damsels" that are anything but distressed; "damsels" a contemporary stereotype of feminist criticism.
***For full review please visit peneflix.com
Viewer In Distress by lead.invictus
Watched this movie with a group of people, both men and women, ages ranging from 19 - 70, and not a single person in my party was at all entertained. The story was hard to follow and poorly written, at best. The characters were boring, the dialogue was uninteresting and I honestly thank GOD that I didn't pay for my own ticket, or else I would have felt my money would've been better spent paying someone else NOT to watch this movie. The friend who did cover my ticket charge for me, for whom I feel terrible for spending money on this movie, did nothing but apologize to me, and everyone else, repeatedly for choosing the movie in the first place. So, from one movie lover to another, if you enjoy movies like The Avengers, Back to the Future, Lion King, The Three Stooges, Driving Miss Daisy, Taken, Friday the 13th, We are Marshall, or any other movie that has left you in any way satisfied when you left the theater, DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS WASTE OF TIME, MONEY, AND ADVERTISING SPACE.
A Dull, Meandering Mess, Better Suited To TV. by Alon Patterson
Saying this film is dull would be a kindness. Frankly, I felt like one of those characters from "The Emperor's New Clothes" in that like most everyone else in the theater, I was too cowardly to get up and leave. Given my more than $20 investment in ticket and concessions, honestly, the film makers, distributor, exhibitor, even the concession crew, owed me more...MUCH MORE than this tripe of a film. Like a train wreck, it was very hard to turn away but I can honestly write that this film ranks among the absolute WORST I have ever seen AND I see movies in theaters every day, all around the world, and have done so consistently for more than a decade. Unlike commercial critics, I pay to see my movies. I think that keeps me unbiased. Movies, like beauty though, are in the eyes of the beholder, so your take may be different. Were I you, given all the choices on the screen now and out there to grab your ticket dollar, I think you'd be happier elsewhere. You'll be glad you skipped it.
Do see it! by XANADUINLA
This film is set in an alternate reality but close to the reality of some. Our protagonist is named Violet and she is on a mission to improve and help others and gets tangled in a love triangle while also having many self aware moments.
The movie is very funny and unique! You have to listen carefully to appreciate all of the humour as the dialogue comes fast. You aren't going to be spoon fed. This really won't be like any other film.
Just go in with an open mind and see where this alernate reality takes you. I think you will be glad you did. I loved it.
The Production design is very attractive too.
Delightful Original Comedy by ambertopaze
Damsels in Distress is a wonderful comedy. Whit Stillman's articulate dialogue is full of original and memorable lines, with some deep poetic thoughts.
It is also superbly acted. It made me smile all along, and transported me in some gentle reverie. Loved the music and dance numbers.
Wacky, Witty, Wonderful! by MaxFischer1998
I haven't laughed this much in a long time. I've seen it twice now. Do the Sambola! (you'll get it when you see the flick).
Damsels in Distress by elangbert
The only distress I was aware of was my own. Incoherent, silly and a total bore.