Australian Council on Children and the Media

Just My Luck

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Lang. Theme)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Just My Luck
  • a review of Just My Luck completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 17 June 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to themes and language.
Children aged 8-13 Parental guidance recommended.
Children over the age of 13 Children over the age of thirteen could see this film with or without parental guidance, depending on parentsu2019 assessment of the content.

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: Just My Luck
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language, Mild themes
Length 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ashley Albright (Lindsay Lohan) was born under a lucky star and while the forces of the universe have arranged for everything to go her way, Jake Hardin (Chris Pine) has not been so fortunate. As he resignedly endures one hideous disaster after another Ashley’s life could not be more perfect. Then one night, at a masquerade ball, destiny decrees they meet and through a mystical twist of fate their fortunes swap. Suddenly Jake cannot go wrong whereas Ashley’s perfect life unravels around her as she is: arrested, fired, evicted, beaten, dumped, drenched, starved, humiliated and electrocuted.

In a desperate bid to get her old life back Ashley attempts to track down the masked stranger she kissed only moments before her luck changed. Hopeless and dejected, she is helped by a kind-hearted man (Jake) who takes pity on her. Through a number of chance encounters they are thrown together and slowly develop feelings for one another. When Ashley discovers that Jake is not only the one she kissed, but also the one she has been searching for all along, she must choose between her heart and the comfort of the life she once led.

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.

Luck and what you make of what you have

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 some violence in this movie including:

  • a jogger attacks and kicks Jake. Moments later a policeman tackles him to the ground.
  • Ashley is punched in the face twice on two separate occasions.

 

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are one scene that could scare or disturb children under the age of five:

  • a man gets trapped underneath a stage and must find his way through an eerie, dark and smoky passageway. He comes upon a shadowy, somewhat creepy looking prop and although he is not scared, there is an intensity to the scene that could frighten small children.

 

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 or disturbed by the scenes described 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.

It is unlikely that anything in this movie would scare or disturb children over the age of eight.

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.

It is unlikely that anything in this movie would scare or disturb children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

None

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • ‘I’m sexy’ is repeatedly sung in songs.
  • there is implication behind the question ‘Did you?’ when a friend of Ashley’s presses her for details of a date
  • Ashley’s next-door neighbour is a professional escort and a number of references are made to his profession
  • Jake is offered an erotic massage.

 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Ashley wears skimpy underwear as she chooses a dress for a date.
  • Women are shown throughout the film wearing an assortment of backless, tight, low-cut tops and short, high cut skirts
  • during a party Ashley’s boss and next-door neighbour retire to an alcove, draw some flimsy curtains, rip at each other’s clothes and fall one on top of the other while passionately kissing.

 

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • champagne is served at a party.
  • other alcoholic drinks are consumed on a number of occasions.

 

Coarse language

There is some coarse language and name calling in this movie, including:

  • ass-hole
  • moron
  • bitch
  • Shit
  • crap
  • kick-ass song

 

In a nutshell

Just My Luck is a romantic comedy with a very predictable storyline that will most likely be enjoyed by a teenage female audience.

The main message from this movie is that while some people appear to have better luck than others, the truth of the matter is that, in many ways, you really make your own luck.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • kindness
  • helping others
  • having a positive attitude
  • determination

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as the risks in being intimate with strangers.

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