Find out if ''Party of Five,'' ''Reefer Madness,'' and more are suitable for your kids

By Lois Alter Mark
Updated April 30, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Advertisement

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

type
  • Movie

Party of Five
What it’s about: Bailey’s family confronts him about his drinking problem in the ”Intervention” episode of the popular TV series.
Will kids want to watch it? Yes, fans of the show starring Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt will be happy to watch it sans commercials.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Sex/Nudity: Some talk about sex
Drugs/Alcohol: None on screen, but alcoholism is the theme of this episode.
Violence/Scariness: None
Objectional words/phrases: About 15
What’s so good about it: The obvious affection between the siblings
What’s not so good about it: Well, the intervention doesn’t work.
Appropriate ages: 12 and up

Space Truckers
What it’s about: Intergalactic rig driver John (Dennis Hopper) discovers that the load he’s been hired to deliver to Earth has the potential to wipe out the planet.
Will kids want to watch it? That’s a 10-4, but this sci-fi adventure is as weightless as John when he flies through space.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Sex/Nudity: Some talk of sex; fooling around
Drugs/Alcohol: Cocaine and alcohol use
Violence/Scariness: Lots of high-tech weapons
Objectional words/phrases: About 40
What’s so good about it: There’s still a place for humanity in this vision of the future.
What’s not so good about it: People are greedy everywhere in the universe.
Appropriate ages: 15 and up

The Scarlet Pimpernel
What it’s about: The wife of a British aristocrat (Elizabeth McGovern) is enlisted to help catch a mysterious stranger (Richard E. Grant) who’s foiling the secret police and saving lives during the French Revolution.
Will kids want to watch it? No. They won’t have the patience. This period piece is no Zorro.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Sex/Nudity: A man’s bare backside; couples in bed
Drugs/Alcohol: Some social drinking
Violence/Scariness: Shooting, swordfights, hangings, fisticuffs
Objectional words/phrases: Three
What’s so good about it: Love and marriage win out.
What’s not so good about it: Secrecy and betrayal are the norm.
Appropriate ages: 15 and up

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
What it’s about: Director Amy Heckerling and former journalist Cameron Crowe’s fictionalized expose of teen-age angst during the ’80s.
Will kids want to watch it? Yes. Nostalgia for the Greed Decade is hip, and Sean Penn is irresistible as surfer dude Spicoli.
MPAA Rating: R
Sex/Nudity: Masturbation; nudity; faux fellatio
Drugs/Alcohol: Spicoli’s been ”stoned since the third grade” — and acts it.
Violence/Scariness: A convenience store is held up at gunpoint.
Objectional words/phrases: About 30
What’s so good about it: Stacy concludes that sex is not as important as love.
What’s not so good about it: These teens are ruled by their out-of-control hormones.
Appropriate ages: 15 and up

Reefer Madness
What it’s about: An antidrug crusader warning a community that marijuana is corrupting their children and leading them into lives of crime and sordidness.
Will kids want to watch it? Maybe once. Though famously naughty, it’s really 1930s kitsch.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Sex/Nudity: Tame make-out sessions
Drugs/Alcohol: As expected, lots of reefer madness
Violence/Scariness: A shooting, an attempted rape, a suicide
Objectional words/phrases: None
What’s so good about it: You can’t argue with the antidrug message…
What’s not so good about it: …except that it’s so over-the-top laughable it makes smoking pot something of a joke.
Appropriate ages: 13 and up

Episode Recaps

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 90 minutes
director
  • Amy Heckerling

Comments