What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this quirky New Zealand film has a following on YouTube, so teens may already have seen clips of it there. Quirky and a bit dark, it's far from your typical romantic comedy. The main character, Jarrod, is off-putting, callous, and rude, and at times his relationship with the female lead feels masochistic. There are plenty of dark moments (including glimpses at a family torn apart by suicide), as well as lots of strong language ("f--k", variations on slang for male genitalia, and more). There's also a definite undercurrent of violence: Jarrod is a champ at beating opponents in an aggression-filled video game, and he trains to beat up a childhood bully. Still, older teens may be able to see beyond Jarrod's unappealing exterior -- especially since his sweet-though-gawky girlfriend seems to be able to find some good in him.
- Families can talk about how this cinematic romance bucks the Hollywood trend. Is it believable? Does the "there's someone for everyone" message come off as hopeful or sad (i.e. some people have to settle for "losers")? Then again, is the typical Hollywood romantic comedy any more believable? Families can also discuss how video and computer games are presented in the movie -- and read more about the link between video games and violence.