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Sydney White Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

… minus the stuff a comedy normally has that makes you laugh. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    45

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Each twist and turn is so telegraphed and expected that the story feels wan and the comedy feeble.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Director Joe Nussbaum (“Sleepover”) doesn’t do much with his cast; there’s a lot of standing around as he indulges Bynes’ tendency to mug.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Cute and cartoonish rule the day, and teens and tweens will be the film's chief audience.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    "Revenge of the Nerds" is way cooler in its proud defense of geekosity, no question. But anti-ditz role model Amanda Bynes just happens to be cute.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Sydney White reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Tween star hits college; drinking, hazing ensue.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this take on Snow White is tween favorite Amanda Bynes' most mature movie to date. She's as sweet and down-to-earth as always, but the film's focus on college Greek life includes drinking (one character is applauded for breaking a "keg stand" record) and catty "mean girl" behavior (hazing, cruel put downs, and more). Characters use words like "bitch," "ass," and "ho"; there's some kissing, flirting, and innuendo; and characters obsess about the school's online "Hot or Not" list. All of that said, the movie's messages about accepting people for who they are and being yourself are on target for tweens and young teens.

  • Families can talk about who this movie is targeted at. Do you think filmmakers intend for Bynes' legion of tween fans to watch this college-centric comedy? If so, why do you think they included strong language and drinking? If not, who is the target audience? Kids: What made you want to see this movie -- the story? The cast? The ads you saw on TV? Is that what you think college is really like? Would you want to join a fraternity or sorority based on what you saw in this movie? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Lots of "mean girl" cattiness and cruelty, particularly during rush (the Kappa sisters are advised to target "cute pledges" and avoid "fat losers") and when the Kappas haze their new pledges (Rachel submits each girl to a blunt analysis of the flaws in her appearance, strafes pledges with water guns, addresses them as "skanks," etc.). But it's made very clear that everything Rachel does is unacceptable, and the movie's overall message is a positive one -- be true to yourself and accept others for who they are, and you'll be a lot happier in the end. There's also a fair amount of stereotyping; virtually everyone except Sydney fits into a "type" (spoiled sorority girl, geeky Star Wars nerd, bulky football player), and student groups are portrayed very one-dimensionally during the student council campaigning scenes. But again, it all ends up being used to reinforce lessons about diversity and tolerance.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Mostly minor comic falls and tussles. Terrence's experiments are often accompanied with small explosions, and fire occasionally breaks out in the Vortex, but no one gets hurt. Rachel drives her golf cart through a phalanx of marching band students, who tumble to get out of her way. A few screen shots of a first-person shooter video game.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Lots of flirting, with some kissing and talk of "hotties" and "hooking up." Spanky is obsessed with women and sex (he's enthralled by Sydney's sports bra, saying "that thing has touched boobs!"). Female characters' skimpy tank tops, shorts, sundresses, and bikinis prompt ogling among the guys. A scene in which Sydney eats ice cream with relish (with guys watching eagerly) prompts a comment of "this is a SO-rority, not a HO-rority." The school's "Hot or Not" list plays an important role in the plot. Male construction workers wolf-whistle at an attractive woman; Sydney matches them by whistling at cute boys. Sydney's dad attempts to explain the birds and the bees using plumbing supplies.

  • language false3

    Language: Not that bad for PG-13, but definitely strong for the younger tweens who love Bynes. "Bitch" is used a couple of times, as are "hell," "damn," "ho," "crap," "skanks," "ass," "booty," "whoring," "douche-baggy," "hump," "shut up," "pissed," "screwed," and "loser."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Rachel is obsessed with labels (her "soothing words" are Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Armani, etc.), and the Kappa sisters are very materialistic in general (they look down on Sydney for having a plumber as a dad). Brands/products include a Mac laptop, MySpace, cell phones, and a Scooby-Doo nightlight.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: No smoking or drugs, but a fair amount of both visible and implied drinking. During tailgate and fraternity party scenes, many students (most of whom are presumably under 21) are seen holding plastic cups; they're not explicitly beer, but it's implied. One character sets a "keg stand" record at the Beta party, earning lots of praise and applause. Some alumni (and possibly students) hold beer bottles at the tailgate, and Sydney and the guys attract people to their booth by offering "free drinks." Tyler mentions having to pick up a keg early in the movie, and the frat house boasts an impressive beer-can wall.

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