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Dear Lemon Lima Review

  • Release Date: Mar 04, 2011
  • Rated: some thematic material and language
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 27 min.
  • Genres: Art House/Foreign, Comedy

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Quirky coming-of-age dramedy is sweet but strained.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this quirky teen drama focuses on an awkward student who transfers to a stuffy private high school and finds a way to come into her own. The film has some spot-on scenes that showcase the cruelty of high school caste systems and the misguided decisions of overprotective parents. An acronym that includes an expletive ("f--k") plays an important role in the plot, and the story is also catalyzed by a terrible tragedy that may be disturbing to younger teens, but the thought-provoking film is likely to spark some introspection by high schoolers.

  • Families can talk about Hercules’ decision. Why do you think he made this choice? Do you think he had other options?
  • What do you think about Vanessa’s approach to the Snowstorm Survivor competition? How did she transform over the course of the movie?
  • How is this movie different or similar to other movies about teens or high school?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Strong messages about accepting yourself -- even if you have flaws or don't fit the norm. Plus, examples of fighting cruelty and prejudice with kindness and understanding. Plenty of characters seem to hold prejudicial opinions about Native Americans.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Though Vanessa appears meek in the beginning, she becomes a girl unafraid at asserting herself and finally proud of her unique ways. And she’s determined to prove that everyone deserves respect and consideration.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A boy and his father shoot at a decoy deer. Later, teens discover that a peer has committed suicide.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Boys tease a girl, asking her to show her breasts.

  • language false2

    Language: "Stupid," "FUBAR" (meaning "f--ked-up beyond recognition"; the F-word is written out but with an asterisk).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Girls attend a "cigarette club" that meets to collect (but not smoke) high-end cigarettes. Students discuss how deadly smoking is.

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