Material Girls

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Short takes

Not suitable under 9; parental guidance to 12 (scary scenes, sexual references, coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Material Girls
  • a review of Material Girls completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 September 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 9 Not suitable due to scary scenes, sexual references and coarse language.
Children aged 9–12 Parental guidance due to sexual references and coarse language.
Children aged 13 and over 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: Material Girls
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references, Mild coarse language
Length: 98 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ava and Tanzie Marchetta (Haylie and Hilary Duff) are the faces and heiresses to the multi-million Marchetta cosmetics company and appear to lead superficial and materialistic lifestyles. Ava is about to announce her engagement to a rising soapie star, while Tanzie is secretly submitting applications to study biochemistry at university.

Unfortunately, the company their late father started appears to be struggling financially and they are advised by their guardian and company CEO, Tommy (Brent Spiner), to consider a huge takeover offer from rival company owner, Fabiella (Angelica Huston). Before they can accept, a scandal breaks out regarding the Marchetta products, causing stock prices to plummet. Within twenty-four hours, the girls accidentally burn their house down, have their car stolen, have their credit cards cancelled, and Ava’s engagement is at an end.

Ava and Tanzie cannot believe their father would knowingly sell harmful products and despite significant pressure to sell their now nearly worthless company, they set about trying to clear their father’s reputation.


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.

Materialistic lifestyles; Fame; Rivalry.

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:

  • Jayden, an assistant at Marchetta, hits Tommy in the face with a folder. He appears to experience pain following this, but the scene is depicted in a comic manner.

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 some scenes in this movie that could disturb children under the age of five, including:

  • Ava and Tanzie are harassed by the waiting paparazzi.
  • Ava and Tanzie accidentally set their house on fire and appear scared while trying to put it out.
  • The house is attacked with eggs by the angry crowd outside and the girls are upset by this.
  • After snooping around the Marchetta offices at night to find clues about the company scandal, the girls are nearly attacked by ferocious guard dogs.
  • A neighbour of one the people the girls are investigating tells them that if one of the cats comes into his yard again, it will be set on fire.

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 disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

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.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Dominos Pizza.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Someone comments, “I saw her doing it with you Dad.”
  • Ava says to a man standing close to her on a bus, “I can feel that”, referring to his groin pressed against her back.
  • A woman on TV says, “I’m so sorry I slept with your Dad”.
  • Ava says, “You and Rick probably jump each other every time you see each other”.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • People drink cocktails at parties and clubs.
  • One of Ava’s friends offers her a Prozac to cope with her stress.
  • Another friend offers both girls a cigarette, which they refuse. Ava is shown to light up a cigarette after the scandal breaks out, which also serves as the trigger for the house fire.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • crappers
  • piss
  • shit.

In a nutshell

Material Girls is a lightweight teen comedy and the target audience may enjoy the attractive main characters, their array of beautiful clothes, their glamorous lifestyles, and gentle romances. Older audiences may find the storyline and characters somewhat shallow and clichéd, and the comedic attempts weak.

The main messages from this movie are that money can’t buy you happiness; and the importance of family and true friends.

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

  • loyalty to family and friends
  • working cooperatively and honestly
  • believing in your own abilities
  • not ‘judging a book by its cover’.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of treating all people respectfully, and finding meaning in life apart from a materialistic lifestyle.