What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film deals with themes that may be inappropriate for younger teens. Topics such as suicide, depression, social alienation, materialism, sex, and parental physical and emotional abuse are discussed openly. Main characters use very strong language, smoke pot on screen in the school library, and mock authority figures. One smokes cigarettes, draws a switchblade, and makes lewd gestures. He reveals cigar burns on his body as evidence of his father's abuse. The film does positively encourage the breakdown of social barriers as a means of identification and improved communication.
- Families can talk about how relevant and realistic they feel it is. Do teens feel that their high school has a similar clique structure? Allison describes Bender's question about Claire's virginity as a "double-edged sword…a trap," stating, "Well, if you say you haven't...you're a prude. If you say you have...you're a slut." Her argument is nothing new, but it does present a good opportunity for families to talk about society's views on sex and gender. Do teens still feel this double standard is in effect?