What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Meatballs is a sexual-innuendo-filled summer camp comedy from 1979, featuring 29 year-old Bill Murray. Even though it has young kids in it, it's intended for teen and adult viewers. There's no actual nudity, and no sex scenes, although two characters are heard speaking, off-screen, after they've had sex. But male characters ogle women in bikinis, and think and talk about sex almost constantly. There's a questionable spoken joke about children visiting hookers, and an uncomfortable scene in which a man jokingly attacks a woman (she doesn't think it's funny). Aside from sexual references, language includes things like "dick" and "hell." A camp counselor song includes a line about drinking and smoking, though these things are not shown in the movie. Irreverent at the time, the movie feels old-fashioned today. Older viewers will have a nostalgic fondness for it, but younger viewers may not be convinced.
- Families can talk about the movie's sexual content. How accurate is the movie's portrayal of the way the guys talk and think about sex? How do the male and female characters approach the topic of sex differently?
- Is Tripper a role model despite his irresponsible behavior? How did his guidance help Rudy? Have you ever met someone like Tripper who's helped you in some way?
- Which characters grow or change or learn something over the summer? Which characters do not?