Australian Council on Children and the Media

Uptown Girls

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Short takes

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

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Uptown Girls
  • a review of Uptown Girls completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 November 2003.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the level of scariness and violence in this movie it is not recommended for children under 8.
Children aged 8-13 Children 8 to 13 would need parental guidance to see this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Children over13 should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

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: Uptown Girls
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Low level coarse language
Length 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Molly and Rae are two vastly contrasting characters who share similar backgrounds. Molly Finn is a twenty two year old orphaned daughter of rock star parents who died in a plane crash when she was just a child. She was left plenty of money and grew up having everything she could possibly need except for the one thing she craved – a loving relationship. Thus when she meets Neil, an upcoming pop star, she takes him home and doesn’t want him to leave. Neil however feels totally suffocated and leaves after a few days. In the meantime Molly’s financial trustee takes off with all of her money along with many other peoples’. Molly is left penniless, forced to leave her apartment and look for a job for the first time in her life.

After her first employment position turned out to be a disaster, Molly takes a job as Rae’s nanny. Rae is the eight year old daughter of a successful business woman who signs up new musical talent and is totally disinterested in Rae, preferring to give her everything she wants. She is thus a thoroughly spoiled, obnoxious child who is full of smart, hurtful comments to everyone she meets. Rae’s father had been in a car accident which left him in a coma and Rae won’t have anything to do with him. She hides her hurt by being totally controlling, obsessively neat and clean, highly disciplined and unemotional. Molly, on the other hand, is a free spirited, ‘hippyish’ girl, who lives in a mess, infrequently washes her clothes and dishes and keeps a pig for a pet. The two girls instantly dislike each other but gradually they each learn from the other and Molly eventually helps Rae to open up and show her emotions.

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 comic violence in this movie including the following:

  • Molly bangs her face on a door and gets a blood nose
  • Molly’s washing machine overflows with suds in which some women slip over.
  • Molly spins Rae round and round and they both fall down. Molly bangs into a shelf which falls over on her.

Also there is a little violence which is not comic:

  • Rae gets into a fight with a girl at school.
  • Molly takes over beating up the girl.
  • Rae slaps Molly across the face, Molly hits her back then Rae starts punching her in the stomach.

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 is some material that might scare children in this age group:

  • Molly growing up alone as an orphan
  • Rae’s father lying in a coma.
  • Molly’s pig is shut out of the apartment and left tied to the door.
  • Molly has to leave her apartment and find somewhere else to live.
  • Molly jumps off a bridge but the river is too shallow for her to drown.
  • Molly sets the oven on fire
  • Rae’s father dies

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 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.

Children in this age group might still be upset by the fact that Molly is an orphan and Rae a neglected child. Also the fact that Rae’s dad is in a coma and dies.

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.

Children in this age group should be okay to see this movie.

Sexual references

There are quite a lot of sexual references in this movie including:

  • Molly calls Neil a “rock ’n roll sex god”.
  • Molly seduces Neil and takes him to bed though nothing is shown.
  • Molly says she’s “not a sex machine”.
  • Molly wears Neil’s clothes so he can’t leave but when he insists on having them back she removes his jocks and shirt to give him back.
  • Molly strips off her undies in the Laundromat to put them in the washing machine.
  • Neil makes a video clip with women in sexy lingerie.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity but Neil and Molly obviously have a sexual relationship. Also Neil stays the night with Rae’s Mum.

Use of substances

There is quite a bit of drinking and smoking at parties, night club, etc. Also Rae asks Molly if she’s “on crack”.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language including the words:

  • Oh my God
  • Jesus
  • friggin’
  • arse.

Rae gives the finger a couple of times.

In a nutshell

The take home message would be that good can come out of adversity.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • care and concern
  • taking responsibility
  • friendship.

Values parents may to discourage include:

  • obsessive behaviour
  • name calling
  • unkindness
  • rudeness
  • slovenliness
  • irresponsible behaviour.

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