Australian Council on Children and the Media

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 15 (Themes. Viol. Scary scenes. Sex. Lang.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for My Super Ex-Girlfriend
  • a review of My Super Ex-Girlfriend completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 July 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended for children under 8 years due to adult themes, violence, scary scenes and coarse language
Children aged 8-15 Parental guidance is recommended due to frequent sexual references and coarse language

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: My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate sexual references
Length 96 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) works a project manager, with his sex-fixated friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) and the pretty but ‘taken’ Hannah (Anna Faris). On the way home after work, Vaughn goads the ‘unlucky in love’ Matt to ask a woman on the train out on a date. While doing so, the woman has her bag stolen. Matt gives chase and through a series of lucky breaks, retrieves the bag. Matt earns the gratitude of the woman, Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) and she agrees to a date, but what Matt doesn’t know is that she is G-Girl, the city’s superhero.

Over the course of a few dates, Jenny tells Matt of her true identity and the story of how she got her powers. However, Matt senses that all is not right with Jenny/G-Girl, as she becomes increasingly neurotic and jealous of his relationship with Hannah. To make matters worse, he is kidnapped by Professor Bedlam (Eddie Izzard), super-villain and nemesis of G-Girl, who tries to convince Matt to help him lure Jenny/G-Girl into a trap that will strip her of her powers. Matt feels it is all getting too much for him and attempts to break up with Jenny. Not surprisingly, she is none to pleased and uses her powers to make his home and work life a misery. As Matt’s world spirals out of control, he realises who he truly loves and agrees to work with Professor Bedlam to stop G-Girl before everything he values is destroyed.

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.

Adult relationships, sexual jealousy

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 robbery takes place in a jewellery shop in which four masked bandits with guns burst into the shop, push the owner to the ground, steal the jewellery and get into the getaway car. As the car races away, people on the streets appear afraid and have to jump out of the way. G-Girl stops the thieves, picking up their car and dumping it, bonnet first, into the pavement outside the police station. One of the bandits shoots at her, but she is bullet proof and unharmed.
  • after being kidnapped, Matt is slapped in the face several times by one of Professor Bedlam’s henchmen. This is shown in a comic light.
  • Jenny is hit by a car and thrown across the street. She is unharmed.
  • Professor Bedlam tests the strength of G-Girl’s hair using a small hacksaw. The strength of the hair is such that the blade flies off, ricochets about the room and lodges in the chest of one his henchmen. The henchman is not impressed, but not seriously injured. Again, this is depicted humorously.
  • while driving home after a date, Jenny breaks Matt’s car window in a fit of jealous rage
  • when Matt tries to break up with her, Jenny becomes enraged and throws a tomato at him, beats her head against the fridge, blows him up against a wall, upturns a table on him, tries to boil his pet fish and then flies away through his ceiling.
  • Jenny later returns to taunt Matt further and burns the word “Dick” onto his forehead
  • Professor Bedlam enters Matt’s apartment, and in the process of throwing the door open, one of the doors flies back into his henchman’s head. He is not seriously injured.
  • G-Girl and Hannah get into a fight over Matt, with hair-pulling, pushing, punching, throwing, choking and hitting each other with objects. This is quite violent although shown 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.

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 five, including:

  • in the robbery bandits are shown with balaclavas and guns. People appear afraid as the robbers escape and one of the bandits shoots at G-Girl.
  • Matt attempts to catch a bag-thief, but instead becomes pursued himself. He appears afraid and jumps into a giant rubbish bin..
  • a building is on fire and people on the streets appear worried. G-Girl arrives and puts the fire out.
  • Professor Bedlam kidnaps Matt and hangs him upside down from the Statue of Liberty. He appears very scared and shouts for help. The rope loosens and he begins falling and screaming. Jenny/G-Girl saves him.
  • Jenny gets hit by a car and is thrown several metres. She is unharmed.
  • Jenny tells the story of how she got her powers through a mysterious meteor. She is shown to approach the meteor and it explodes, throwing her to the ground. She is not injured but has a glow about her body and is transformed into G-Girl. She does not appear afraid, and instead, is pleased with her new appearance.
  • while on a double date, Matt, Jenny and Hannah see on the news that a rogue missile has been launched and is heading to the city. It will possibly kill thousands. Jenny tries to ignore Matt’s increasingly anxious hints that G-Girl should probably stop the missile. People in the restaurant appear afraid. Jenny eventually goes to stop the missile.
  • when G-Girl returns to Matt’s apartment, she menaces him further by blowing his power supply and showing him (through a telescope) that his car is orbiting in space.
  • G-Girl throws a huge shark into Hannah’s apartment. It terrorises both Hannah and Matt, destroying furniture and chasing Matt, then finally crashes out of a window in the apartment. It is seen to fall and thudding sound is heard when it hits the ground.

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 also likely to be scared or 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.

Some of the above-mentioned scenes could also scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, particularly:

  • Matt falling from the Statue of Liberty
  • Jenny’s violent reaction when Matt tries to break up with her
  • the shark in Hannah’s apartment, and
  • the fight between Jenny and Hannah.

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.

There are no scenes that would be particularly scary for children over 13 years.

Product placement

None

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Vaughn refers to his desire to “gratify myself orally”
  • Matt is caught looking at Hannah’s bottom and her supervisor states “You were staring at her butt”
  • Jenny reports that “I’m good at sex. I think I’m good at sex”.
  • Vaughn is seen to be ogling at girls in a gym class.
  • Vaughn states that “neurotic women are wildcats in bed”; that is “pure carnal nirvana” and it is “Coitus maximus”.
  • there is a sculpture at Jenny’s art gallery of a deer with a person’s feet  in its bottom
  • while recounting how she got her powers, Jenny tells how she wanted to get the “whole virginity thing over and done with” during high school. During her transformation after being hit by the exploding meteor, Jenny’s breast are shown to enlarge.
  • at the gym, Vaughn likens one of the girls to a “cheerleader from Spank Me University”.
  • Matt’s supervisor states “that boy has a major case of the hornies”.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • after their first date, Jenny and Matt return to his apartment kissing. They both undress to their underwear and get into bed. During the sex scene, only their faces are shown, but the bed goes back and forth, hitting and damaging the wall and floor. The bed eventually breaks and Jenny says that she will get Matt a new one. He responds by saying “A bed or a penis?!” The next day, Matt is shown to be limping to work.
  • after telling him of her powers, Jenny takes Matt flying and decides to have sex with him in the sky. They are fully dressed, but she is shown to unzip his trousers.
  • G-girl goes to Matt’s workplace and blows his clothes off. Matt is shown naked from behind.
  • Matt goes to Hannah’s apartment and they begin kissing. They are later shown in bed in pyjamas/underwear. Matt refers to the sex as “great, and it didn’t hurt at all”.
  • Hannah and Matt are shown having sex in his apartment. Again, only their faces are shown, but the bed moves back and forth, and then crashes into the next apartment.

Use of substances

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

  • several scenes in which Matt, Vaughn and Hannah are having beers in a bar
  • during their dates, Jenny drinks wine and becomes a little disinhibited.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • asshole
  • bullshit
  • idiot
  • you lucky SOB
  • I’m screwing with you
  • crap
  • Goddamn
  • what the hell
  • “Chainsaw shoved up your ass”
  • whore
  • bitch
  • sick bastard
  • dick
  • pissed off

In a nutshell

My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a. is a light-weight romantic comedy about a man who gets into, and then wants out of, a relationship with a neurotic superhero. The content of the movie is more suitable for older adolescents and adults who may enjoy the comedy, the plot premise, the comments on relationships and an appealing cast and characters.

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

  • equal gender roles: women in the workplace and as superheroes
  • caring and being loyal to friends.

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

  • using violence to resolve conflict
  • seeking revenge for perceived wrongs
  • not respecting women, including treating them as sexual objects
  • being disloyal to those close to you.

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