Australian Council on Children and the Media

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

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Short takes

Under 8s may be bored (Themes.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
  • a review of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 April 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 While there is nothing particularly scary or violent for parents to be concerned about, children under 8 would probably find this movie boring.
Children aged 8-13 Children 8-13 might need some parental guidance to view this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Children over the age of 13 should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes
Length 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Lola (real name Mary) is a fifteen year old teenage drama queen who aspires to being a famous actress. She is the daughter of a single mother and ex-rock star father.

Her dreams are dampened somewhat when her Mum decides to move from New York to New Jersey. Lola enrols at Bellwood High School where she befriends Ella who shares her love of Sidarthur, a rock group. Lola is smitten with Stu Wolf who she thinks is “the greatest poet since Shakespeare”. Lola also makes enemies with the Carla Santini, the richest and most beautiful girl at the school. Due to her love of acting and drama, Lola wins the lead role of Eliza in the school’s modern version of Pygmalion, further alienating Carla who had been certain of winning the role. Lola finds that her family is ostracised due to the fact that her Mum is single. She makes up a story therefore about her Dad dying in a motor bike accident which sits more comfortably with the suburbanites.

When Lola and Ella hear that Sidarthur are breaking up and putting on a final concert they do all in their power to get to the concert. Carla has tickets and an invitation to the after concert party. Ella thinks her parents won’t let her go, so Lola persuades her to lie to them but Ella finds this hard to do. In the end a compromise is reached as Ella’s parents decide to spend that weekend in New York where the concert is being held. By that time however there are no tickets left. Lola is undeterred, and believes she’ll be able to buy tickets from the scalpers. However, their plans all go awry and they are unable to gain entrance to either the concert or the party.

As luck would have it Stu Wolf is thrown out of the party in a drunken stupor and the girls rescue him from a dark rubbish-filled alley. He’s grateful to the girls and takes them back to the party. Back at school Carla insists that Lola and Ella weren’t at the party but her spitefulness is avenged when Stu makes a surprise visit to the school concert.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a little comic violence done for laughs:

  • Lola, daydreaming, crashes her bike into a tree and falls off.
  • Lola and Carla race each other to see the list of names for the concert and they push each other over and bang into doors, etc.
  • Lola sprays hair spray in Carla’s face but gets her teacher, Ms. Boggoli instead.

 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are a couple of scenes in this movie that might scare children in this age group:

  • Lola makes up the story of her Dad dying in a motor bike accident which is shown as a dreamlike sequence.
  • When Lola and Ella are walking the streets of New York they are followed by a man who turns out to be Lola’s Dad.

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the scenes mentioned above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are not likely to be scared by this movie.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are not likely to be scared by this movie.

Sexual references

The only sexual reference is that Lola tells Ella she’s a ‘love child’ and then goes on to justify that by saying her parents were very much in love and were married before she was born.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

Stu Wolf gets drunk and is thrown out of the party. He ends up collapsing on a heap of rubbish.

Coarse language

None of concern.

In a nutshell

The take home message of this movie is the importance of differentiating between truth and fiction. Also that the blurring of the truth is the same as lying.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • friendship
  • not lying to parents
  • owning up to the truth can have positive results
  • forgiveness
  • being drunk has negative consequences
  • consistent liars are hard to believe, even when they are telling the truth

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • lying
  • deceit
  • disobeying parents
  • thinking that ‘borrowing’ something without asking is different to stealing
  • peer harassment and bullying
  • jealousy
  • competitiveness.
  • Drunkenness is shown as being very unattractive and lying is also shown as being destructive

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