[Screen It]


(1995) (Christina Ricci, Gabby Hoffman) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Minor Mild Moderate *Minor
Mild Mild Moderate None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Mild Moderate Moderate Mild

Four girls spend of the summer of 1970 exploring life and investigating the murder of a boy dead for three decades.
Three women, Roberta (ROSIE O'DONNELL), Teeny (MELANIE GRIFFITH), and Samantha (DEMI MOORE) come together to provide support for their pregnant friend, Chrissy (RITA WILSON) and reminisce about their summer in Shelby, Indiana in 1970. In flashback, the girls Roberta (CHRISTINA RICCI), Teeny (THORA BIRCH), Samantha (GABY HOFFMAN), and Chrissy (ASHLEIGH ASTON MOORE) begin the summer in a quest of a tree house. But that soon changes during a seance where they think that they've brought "Dear Johnny" (a boy who died in the 1940's) back from the dead. From then on they try to solve the mystery behind his death while exploring and experiencing their changing from girls to women.
Young girls will since it's a story about young girls. Boys will probably stay away from this one unless they are attracted to someone in the cast.
For adolescent sex discussions.
  • As adults, ROSIE O'DONNELL & RITA WILSON play decent, well-grounded people. DEMI MOORE, on the other hand, plays a shallow, cold person who admits she isn't happy with her life. We don't learn much about MELANIE GRIFFITH's character.
  • As kids, CHRISTINA RICCI's character is obsessed with death and often takes unnecessary risks that could injure or kill her. The other girls are just typical kids from the 1970's. As a side note, all but ASHLEIGH ASTON MOORE smokes in just one scene.


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    The movie is somewhat of an enjoyable visit to more innocent times and could easily have done without the big star present day scenes that only act as bookends to the story. The plot does, however, meander around a bit and thus doesn't have a nice, cohesive feel to it. It often sputters as the girls go from one subplot to the next. Overall, we give it a 5 out of 10.
    There's a good amount of material that may be inappropriate or that should invoke parent/child discussions. The biggest issue that kids will immediately notice is the girls' interest in sex and there are many scenes where sexual topics are discussed (but not practiced). In addition, there are two other topics that kids might be sensitive to. First, there's a great deal of attention paid to death (as in the "Dear Johnny" plot and the often discussed death of Roberta's mother). No deaths or suffering are seen on screen, but they are discussed. Second, there is the issue of divorce and kids having to deal with all of the changes it brings on. This is explored through the Samantha plot line. Although none of the topics are displayed to the extreme, there's enough there to warrant consideration of whether your kids are mature enough to watch this.

  • (Present day) When asked what they would like to drink, Samantha and Teeny request "Jack Daniels," but Chrissy says they don't have hard liquor in the house. Roberta then offers them beer.
  • Parents have a party in a neighborhood house and are seen drinking.
  • (Present day) Chrissy's baby and Roberta's hands are bloody after Roberta delivers the baby.
  • Just some youthful pranks: Local boys bomb the girls with water balloons. The girls later retaliate by stealing the boys clothes who are skinny dipping in a local pond.
  • Some local boys don't think girls can play ball as well as boys (and one says "Why don't you go home and play with your dolls?")
  • Samantha doesn't respect her mother's date (because she sees him in conflict with her real father).
  • The girls make fun of (and are scared of) an old man on the street ("Crazy Pete"), who they later learn is the father of the dead boy from years ago.
  • The girls conduct a seance and one of the girls acts like she's channeling a spirit which scares the other girls.
  • Samantha sees weird shadows on her wall after the cemetery seance and she's scared.
  • The girls return to the cemetery and find "Dear Johnny's" gravestone broken. They're sure they've brought him back from the dead, and this nighttime scene along with the scary music might frighten some kids.
  • Roberta dives into a shallow pond even though the other girls say it's too shallow. She doesn't come up and the girls panic. They eventually spot her floating on the surface and drag her up on shore. They panic, but it turns out she was only faking her death as a joke.
  • There's a little bit of suspense as the girls visit a palm reader to search for information on the boy's death.
  • Samantha goes down into a storm sewer to retrieve a ring and gets stuck as heavy rains begin filling it up. She struggles to get out but soon the water gets too deep and Teeny can't help her from the outside. Eventually "Crazy Pete," the local outcast, comes by and saves her.
  • The final seance sequence turns scary as weird flashing lights appear as does the floating tombstone of "Dear Johnny." They scream and start to run away, but then discover that it's a worker hoisting a new tombstone to the grave site.
  • (Present day) Chrissy screams during childbirth and this may be scary for little kids.
  • Just the story that "Dear Johnny" and his mother were shot and killed by an intruder.
  • Phrases: "Bitches," "Fart," "Shut up," "Freakin'," "Suckers," "Geez," and "Screw ‘em."
  • A young boy picks his nose.
  • A group of local boys throw water balloons on the girls.
  • The girls sneak out of their homes to go have a seance in the cemetery.
  • Roberta dives into a shallow pond even though the other girls say it's too shallow.
  • A lightning bolt strikes a tree in the cemetery during a seance sequence.
  • A bird taking flight in the cemetery scares the girls when they return there.
  • There is some moderately scary music during the seance and cemetery scenes.
  • When Roberta doesn't surface in the pond (see "Frightening/Tense Scenes") there is some tense music.
  • There's a little bit of suspenseful music as the girls visit a palm reader as they search for information on the boy's death.
  • None.
  • 6 "s" words, 5 damns, 3 craps, 3 "ass" words, 3 hells, and 2 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "Dear Lord," and "Good Lord" as exclamations.
  • (Present day) Roberta says that the reason men like Teeny is because she has "perky breasts."
  • (Present day) Chrissy says that Roberta lives "in sin" with her boyfriend.
  • Roberta is concerned about her growing breasts and uses tape to keep her chest as flat as possible.
  • Chrissy and her mother talk about talking about sex. Her mother finally gives her incorrect info, including that the woman is like a garden and the man has a hose ("a large hose...or a small hose will do...") that waters the garden.
  • The girls read an issue of "Cosmopolitan" and ask questions about foreplay ("a candlelight dinner and a walk on the beach...making out on a bearskin rug at a local mountain cabin...or watching a sexy movie) and then Teeny reads how each of the girls rated in the poll ("you're a sexual magnet" etc...)
  • The girls talk about their breasts and how men like them when they're big.
  • The girls talk about french kissing and how if you do that, boys will automatically think you want to "do the deed." The other girls then laugh at Chrissy and her mother-instilled gardening story about sex.
  • Some local boys are seen skinny dipping and their bare butts are seen quite often (their fronts are also seen, but their hands cover their private parts). The girls watch them and one says "I just saw the penis and the balls," and Chrissy states that "...it's not that big." Roberta says that it's only big "when the guy's got a hard on." Chrissy then asks what a "hard on" is.
  • The girls talk about a Vietnam vet they just met and state that he's a hippie and that all hippies are "sex fiends."
  • After Roberta has kissed one of the boys, it's said that was the last time she taped her breasts down.
  • (Present day) Samantha smokes a lot of cigarettes.
  • (Present day) Teeny smokes a cigarette.
  • A Vietnam vet the girls encounter smokes and then offers the girls cigarettes. All but Chrissy smoke and Roberta seems to be all old pro at it.
  • Samantha and her little sister often hear their parents arguing. Eventually after one big argument, Samantha looks out the window to see her father, packed bags and all, leave. Later she must contend with her mother dating again, and Samantha doesn't like that at all.
  • Roberta's mother died when she was young, and Roberta finds a newspaper clipping that reports on how she died. Roberta learns that her father "lied" to her about the death and the suffering that preceded it (she was trapped inside a car wreck for hours and then died that night).
  • It's learned that Teeny is the child of country club parents and that she doesn't really know them because they're never around.
  • The girls talk about the TV families they grew up with and how none of them had a traditional structure (either widowed or divorced).
  • There is a lot of talk about death and dying that kids might need to talk about.
  • Seances and what they are.
  • A Vietnam vet tells the girls something that he says he wished someone had told him before: "That your parents aren't always right."
  • Chrissy slugs Roberta for faking her death in the pond incident ("see Frightening/Tense Scenes").
  • The girls encounter a Vietnam vet and ask if he killed anyone. He says yes, but not because he wanted to.
  • Roberta slugs a boy after he tells her to go home and play with her dolls instead of playing ball with them. They then fight and wrestle on the ground and she punches him many times.
  • After kissing a boy, Roberta threatens to "beat the sh*t out of you" if he tells anyone what they just did.
  • The girls ask each other "If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your friends would you kill and eat?"
  • They find out that "Dear Johnny" and his mother were shot and "brutally murdered" during a robbery.

  • Reviewed July 3, 1996

    Other new and recent reviews include:

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