Spoilt California girl, Poppy, is sent to a strict English boarding school by her father when she pushes him too far. Struggling to cope with the bad English weather, the strict teachers and unimpressed students, Poppy wants to leave as soon as possible but soon realises that the life she had before wasn’t as good as she thought it was.

Wild Child (2008) – Director: Nick Moore

Is This Movie Suitable review Wild Child

Rating: 12

Running Length: 98 mins

Starring: Emma Roberts, Kimberley Nixon, Natasha Richardson

Genre: Teen, Comedy

 

REVIEW

‘Wild Child’ is a very ordinary teen comedy about a spoiled princess whose life gets turned upside down when her selfish, attention-seeking ways backfire. This movie does nothing new with the whole ‘fish out of water’/’bad girl turned nice’ storyline with its cliché riddled script, banal plot and stock characters. It is certainly unlikely to appeal to anyone other than teenage girls. The lead character is such a brat throughout most of the movie and has very few redeeming features that it is difficult to care about her troubles or even believe that she would want to turn her life around and become a better person.

Some of the girls are watchable and Natasha Richardson adds some gravitas but when the lead character is so unlikeable it is difficult to find any sympathy with her predicament. ‘Wild Child’ clearly expects the audience to be on Poppy’s side but fails to actually imbue her with any qualities to make this happen beyond dropping in the standard jealous, catty nemesis who sneers through the movie in an immature exercise in point scoring. It is also disappointing to watch a rude, sassy and offensive character such as Poppy attracting popularity simply because the people around her are making allowances for her situation. Unfortunately the female teen audience is somewhat unrepresented in movies generally these days but ‘Wild Child’ is such a mediocre movie sagging with tired stereotypes and mixed messages that it is unlikely to stand out as a must-see movie for today’s youth.

IS ‘WILD CHILD’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

‘Wild Child’ has many questionable moments which we would like to draw your attention to. The first would have to be the language used. When the first word of the movie is an exclaimed moderate curse word, the tone is clearly set. The script is littered with mild and moderate cursing and blasphemy and there are also many sexual references including characters wanting to dress in a ‘slutty’ manner and several characters using the words like ‘whore’ and ‘prostitute’ as insults. Some of the girls discuss what they think Poppy’s sexual experiences have been, naming two sex positions. Poppy then joins in the conversation, reeling off the names of several boys that she has supposedly slept with.

Other sexual references include when two male and female characters (who appear to be naked) are seen in bed next to each other and it is implied that are about to have sex. In addition, a schoolgirl’s telephone number is put up in a phone booth on a flier as a sex chatline and in what is supposed to be a comedy moment, she is seen to be getting increasingly uncomfortable when she innocently answers her phone and starts to describe the clothes she is wearing. When the school holds a dance for the students, Poppy and her friends (who are around the age of 16) wear very revealing, sexy clothes. The music and the dancing from the girls also makes this obviously sexual in nature. Poppy comments jokingly that she needs to be taken to bed and that the popular boy (who all the girls like) can take her. This is done to intentionally upset one of the other girls.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

This movie is clearly aimed towards a teenage audience and despite its ‘12’rating, we would recommend it for ages 13 and over, although this would depend on how an adult feels about their child being exposed to the crude language and casual sexualised content. It has to be said, however, that while the characters often discuss sex there is no peer pressure towards the subject. We would recommend an adult being present if a younger teenager is watching this movie to ensure that they are happy with the themes, however be warned, you will probably feel uncomfortable with some of the dialogue!

  • Violence: 0/5
  • Emotional Distress:  1/5 (Poppy’s mother died in a car accident a few years before and although she misses her, she does not get overly upset when talking about her)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (a fire starts in the school and one of the girls is trapped inside)
  • Sexual Content: 4/5 (there is moderate nudity and implied situations)
  • Bad Language: 4/5 (although there are no ‘strong’ curse words, there are a lot of moderate ones)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (much of the insults are very sexual in nature and coarse in tone)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of growing up, accepting people’s differences, friendship and understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around you.

Words by Laura Record

Wild Child [Blu-ray]


New From: £10.71 GBP In Stock

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