Make it Happen

image for Make it Happen

Short takes

Not recommended under 8 (Lacks interest) PG to 13 (Themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Make it Happen
  • a review of Make it Happen completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 September 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to lack of interest
Children aged 8-13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes
Children over the age of 13 OK for this age group

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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Make it Happen
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Infrequent mild coarse language
Length: 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Lauryn Kirk (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) dreams of becoming a dancer like her mother but the burden of running the family’s garage business with her brother Joel, (John Reardon) after the death of both parents, has prevented her from attending dance school. She finally decides she must follow her dreams and leaves her small Indiana town to audition for entry to the Chicago School of Music and Dance. She fails the audition but decides to stay in Chicago and gets a job at Ruby’s, a local nightclub. She begins as a bookkeeper, but when her dancing talents are discovered, she moves onto the stage as a nightclub dancer.
Lauryn begins a relationship with disc jockey Russ, (Riley Smith) who encourages her to try out again for the dance school. She has some problems to sort out with Joel as she feels torn between loyalty to him and the business and fulfilling her own ambitions.


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.

Loss of parents; erotic dancing

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:

  • verbal abuse between Lauryn and one of the other dancers which almost turns into a fight

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be scared by anything in this film.

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 are unlikely to be scared by anything in this film.

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 unlikely to be scared by anything in this film.

Thirteen and overinfo

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 scared by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • skimpy clothing
  • provocative dancing, including some stripping
  • passionate kissing between Lauryn and Russ.

Use of substances

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

  • several scenes of drinking of alcohol in the night club, at home, out of bottles, etc.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • arse
  • bullshit

In a nutshell

Make it Happen is a dance movie with some great dance sequences, mainly aimed at adolescents.
The main message from this movie is that people should follow their dreams.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include family loyalty

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the situation of young women employed as nightclub dancers.