Australian Council on Children and the Media

LOL

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Not suitable under 13, not recommended13-15(Themes, Sexual references and behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse, coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for LOL
  • a review of LOL completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 August 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to themes, sexual references and behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse and coarse language
Children aged 13-15 Not recommended due to themes, sexual references and behaviour and drug and alcohol abuse

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: LOL
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references and drug use
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It’s the start of a new year at Wrigley High for Lola (Miley Cyrus) and her friends. Lola’s two best girlfriends are Janice (LinaEsco) and Emily (Ashley Hinshaw), and Lola’s BFF (“best friend forever”), but not boyfriend, is Kyle (Douglas Booth). Kyle’s best friend Chad (George Finn) is Lola’s current romantic interest.

It proves to be a very eventful year for Lola and her friends with a number of subplots involving breakups with old boyfriends, Lola unexpectedly falling in love with best friend Kyle, misunderstandings, reconciliations, parties, Battle of the Bands and a school trip to Paris.

When Lola’s mother Anne (Demi Moore) ‘accidentally on purpose’ reads Lola’s diary detailing her daughter’s exploits over the past year,she realises that she doesn’t know her daughter as well as she thought she did and confronts Lola. The resulting conflict sees Lola moving back in with her father Alan (Thomas Jane) and a lot of soul searching for both Lola and her mother.       

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Teenage relationships and sexual activity; family conflicts; social networking

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.

The film contains scenes depicting physical violence and frequent verbal abuse. Examples include:

  • We see a push and shove match between Lola and Chad in a school hallway with friends having to pull the pair apart. Later Lola is reprimanded by her mother for fighting at school.
  • A mother slaps her teenage son across the head with a tea towel.
  • In one scene Kyle’s father, who is depicted as a bullying control freak, shouts at Kyle and pushes him in an abusive manner. He then picks up Kyle’s beloved guitar and destroys it by smashing it against furniture.
  • Lola and her mother have a loud argument resulting in Lola’s mother slapping her across the face and Lola walking out.   

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.

N/A

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • One scene depicts Lola, emotionally distressed and upset, crying out loud on her bed.
  • One scene depicts a school biology lesson in which the students are required to dissect a pig’s heart. We see the pig’s heart on a dish and at one point one of the students pick up his pig’s heart and chases a squeamish student around the class.  

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 may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

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 unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • iPhones/pads
  • Apple computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Fender and Gibson guitars 

Sexual references

The film contains frequent sexual references, both overt and implied, and innuendo throughout. Examples include:

  • Lola’s boyfriend tells her that at summer camp he “hooked with” the camp counsellor, implying he had sex with her. In response Lola tells her boyfriend that she also hooked up with someone just to try it.
  • When Lola removes her clothes in front of her mother to have a shower her mother says “Lola! Is that a Brazilian?” Then says, “I’m not going to let you be a porn star”. 
  • After breaking up with Lola her ex-boyfriend says, “Now that you are giving it up to everyone, I could get some”.
  • In reference to Lola’s mother having sex with a man she was dating, a friend tells her, “One night, quick and dirty”
  • A middle aged man says, “Women don’t just screw”. 
  • A woman says, “Everybody knows that Lucy is a slut”.
  • Jealous of another girl’s figure, Lola says “I wish I had her arse”.       
  • A teen boy says to a teen girl “Wow your sister’s hot!” The teen girl responds, “She’s my step mother”, and the older man sitting next to the girl says “She’s my wife”.
  • A reference is made to “sleeping with random sluts”
  • We hear reference made to high school girl being renowned for having sex with high school boys in school toilets.
  • In reference to her teen daughter’s poor academic record, a mother says to the daughter, “The most important thing is you’re pretty, you can get a rich husband”.
  • We hear Lola’s mother say “A woman should be able to enjoy sex as much as a man”.

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains some partial nudity, suggested nudity and some sensuality. Examples include:

  • Passionate kissing in many scenes
  • Partial and implied nudity 
  • In several scenes a teenagegirl makes seductive advances towards a young male teacher
  • Lola’s mother is seen in bed with her ex-husband and later with another man. 
  • We see a number of teenage girls in a school shower block in various states of undress.
  • One scene depicts a teenage girl and boy sexually enticing each other by taking suggestive photos.
  • Girls wear revealing clothing and dance in a sensuous manner.
  • Kyle and Lola lie fully dressed on a bed kissing passionately. The scene cuts to an image of the pair lying apparently naked beneath the bedcovers. We learn later that the pair had not engaged in sexual activity, but spent their time mainly laughing. Later in the film a similar scene plays out, but this time we hear that they have had sex. 
  • A boy and girl engage in sexual activity in a school toilet cubical; we do not see the couple, but hear suggestive sounds.            

Use of substances

The film contains drug references, use and abuse. Examples include:

  • Social drinking by adults
  • Marijuana is smoked by both adults and teenagers, including the main characters
  • In one scene Kyle’s father accuses Kyle of bringing drugs into his house. He holds up two bags, one that has what appears to be cannabis in it and a second that possibly has powder. 
  • At a party Lola’s grandmother drinks until she passes out on a bed. The next day Lola’s grandmother tells Lola’s mother that she can’t hold her liquor like she used to. At the same party we see high school teen boys and girls drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. The next day when Lola’s mother returns home furious about the party she asks Lola what she had first, “joints or condoms?” she holds up a partially smoked joint left on the ground and waits for an explanation from Lola’s grandmother. 
  • Lola and her parents attend a drug awareness meeting at the high school. We hear that cannabis can cause psychological illnesses and see giant sized images of shadowy areas on a brain representing the damage cannabis does to the brain.    
  • Kyle writes a song that makes reference tococaine.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Shove it up your arse”, “We’re so screwed,” “Stupid arseholes,” “Sucks”, “Slut”, “Jerk”, “Skink  arse,” Screw you”, “Jesus”, “Bullshit, “Oh my God” . 

In a nutshell

LOL is aremake of a French film. It is a teenage romance for the digital age, targeting older adolescents. Parents of younger children are likely to be concerned by the negative messages and role models (both adult and teenage) seen in the film which features many sexual references, teenage sexual behaviour and drug use, and family conflict.   

The main positive message from this movie is that although you can pretend to be anyone you want to impress others, when it comes to love it’s better to be honest.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

whether Lola’s mother was justified reading Lola’s diary (and the difference between a private diary and anything put online)

the picture of teenage girls presented in the film and the suggestion at one point that attractive girls do not have to be smart because they can marry a rich husband.

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