What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this high school comedy has been marketed squarely at teens (the wide online circulation of an R-rated "red band" trailer helped a lot). Heralded as an instant-classic teen comedy on the level of Dazed and Confused or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it seems destined to be a hit. But parents should know that, like many real teenagers, the characters are obsessed with losing their virginity and talking about sex. Sex and, to a lesser extent, booze fuel every conversation, with very graphic dialogue about genitalia, sex acts, and pornography. "F--k" (and many derivations thereof) is used almost nonstop, and there's also a lot of underage drinking and a scene of adults smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. American Pie seems PG-rated by comparison.
- Families can talk about what teens think of sex, how many of their friends they think are having sex, and what parents think of teens having sex. Do teens consider it a stigma to graduate from high school a virgin? This is a good opportunity for parents to answer teens' questions about sex, drinking, and the safe, responsible way to handle both. Parents may also want to put an over-the-top comedy like this in perspective. The movie's antics come at you fast and furiously, making some of the laughs mostly about the shock value. For example, do you think real cops would ever act like the two in the movie? What other movies and TV shows have a similar comedy style? Do you think there's danger here if a viewer doesn't understand the comedy on that level?