What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tracy, the main character, lies to her parents and sneaks off to make out with her boyfriend. She breaks the law by participating in a sit-in for civil rights, and ends up in reform school. A peer spreads lies and rumors about Tracy, including that she's a "whore," was naked in a car, and that she has cockroaches in her hair. Set in the early 1960s, the movie also depicts acts of racism and homophobia. People are called "queer" and "faggots," and a white woman calls Motormouth Maybelle a "native woman," even though she's from Baltimore, too. There is some fighting; Tracy's boyfriend has his legs broken, and another character gets a concussion.
- Families can talk about Tracy's confidence and determination. How does Tracy react to name-calling and rumors about her? What does she think of her body, and how does it affect her popularity? How do other people react to her body? Why do some of the white characters seem to fear the black characters? Can you think of any examples where the same fear exists today? How have race-relations changed from the time in which the movie is set?