Suddenly 30

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Short takes

Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 12 (sexual references, language, drugs)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Suddenly 30
  • a review of Suddenly 30 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 September 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to sexual references, language, and drug reference.
Children aged 6-12 Parental guidance recommended due to sexual references, language, and drug reference.
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: Suddenly 30
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references, Low level coarse language, Drug references
Length: 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jenna Rink is trying really hard to be ‘cool’ at school and longs to be one of the ‘Six Chicks’ and befriend Lucy, the leader. When Jenna’s 13th birthday comes round she invites Lucy and the Six Chicks along with the ‘cool guys’ to her party. Jenna really likes Chris Gandy but her real friend is Mattie who has made her a beautiful doll’s house for her birthday. The party ends in disaster when Lucy plays a mean trick on Jenna and they all leave the house to go somewhere where there is beer. Forlorn, Jenna goes to bed wishing she was thirty but is unprepared when she awakens the next morning to find her wish fulfilled.

Jenna now finds herself living with her boyfriend Alex, a self obsessed hockey player for the New York Rangers and she as a successful editor of Poise Magazine, with Lucy as her assistant. However she is dismayed to learn that she has grown into a person who is not very nice, who has few real friends, is estranged from her parents and from Mattie, two timing her boyfriend and overly ambitious at the expense of loyalty and personal ethics. Looking at her adult life through the eyes of a thirteen year old Jenna realises her life has not turned out the way she thought it would.

She tries to rekindle her friendship with Mattie and restore her relationship with her parents. Jenna is disappointed to discover that Mattie is engaged to be married, however and that she has obviously deeply hurt him in the past. Nonetheless Mattie still cares for Jenna and Jenna now finds herself wanting to go back to being thirteen to make amends for all the mistakes she’s made.

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 no violent material in this movie.

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 over the age of five would not be scared by anything in this movie.

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 over the age of eight would not be scared by anything in this movie.

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 would not be scared by anything in this movie.

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 would not be scared by anything in this movie.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references:

  • At Jenna’s party, the girls blindfold Jenna and put her into the closet to play a game where a boy can come in and do ‘whatever he likes’ for seven minutes. They warn her that Chris likes to ‘go to second base’.
  • When she wakes at 30, Jenna’s really pleased with having breasts and tells a younger girl that she’s now got ‘incredible boobs to fill out her dress’.
  • Mention is made of ‘grabbing someone by the testicles’ to make sure they get to a meeting.
  • Alex, Jenna’s boyfriend, comes out of the shower with a towel wrapped around him which he removes - nothing is shown.
  • Alex tries to seduce Jenna and strips down to his jocks while singing to her.
  • Jenna’s gay boss tells her he’s getting ‘his balls squeezed’.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity.

Use of substances

There is some drinking of alcohol at a work function and at home. The girls at Jenna’s 13th birthday say they want to go off to find beer; there’s also mention of drugs.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language:

  • several uses of ‘oh my God’
  • occasional use of bitch
  • talk of ‘grabbing testicles’ and ‘getting balls squeezed’.

In a nutshell

The take home message of this movie is the comparison between the simplicity of childhood and the complexity of adulthood and how the innocence of childhood can so easily be corrupted.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • maintaining integrity
  • honesty
  • loyalty
  • importance of friendship
  • skills and talents are more important than looks
  • being ‘cool’ isn’t what’s important– uncool chubby Mattie turns out to be a successful, good looking photographer while ‘cool’ Chris Gandy turns out to be a taxi driver. Lucy ends up as Jenna’s assistant.

Values parents may wish to discourage include thirteen year olds going out to find beer.