What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, in terms of content, this R-rated 1980 film is much heavier than both the teen-friendly TV drama it spawned and the PG-rated 2009 remake -- consequently, it's only age-appropriate for mature teens. In addition to frequent, unbleeped swearing (including many forms of "f--k," which even pops up in the classroom with no objection from teachers), viewers will see plenty of topless female characters and watch teens grapple with serious situations, including intense competition, abortion, drug use, poverty, sexual identity (one male student comes out), and suicide. Many of the students make iffy choices that aren't always shown to have negative consequences, although at least two are generally positive role models.
- Families can talk about whether these teens' stories are still relevantto today's high schoolers. Teens: Which of these characters, if any, doyou relate to? Do any of the characters' problems seem outdated to you?
- Does it surprise you to see students talking back to their teachers andusing curse words like "f--k" in the classroom? Are curse words moreoften used as a form of expression or as a means to disrespect someone?
- What messages does this film send about the consequences of premarital sex, acting out in school, and using recreational drugs?
- This film is agreat opportunity to open a dialogue with mature teens about thestresses they face, including pressure to do drugs, drink, and havesex. How do they respond? How do they protect themselves?