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"THE VIRGIN SUICIDES"
(2000) (Kirsten Dunst, James Woods) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Extreme Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A quintet of 1970s era, teenage sisters react to their parents' restrictive nature in unexpected and shocking ways.
PLOT:
It's the 1970s and 13-year-old Cecilia Lisbon (HANNA R. HALL) has just tried to commit suicide in her parents' suburban home. Neither her mother (KATHLEEN TURNER) nor her father (JAMES WOODS) know what to make of this or how to react, and the same holds true for Dr. Horniker (DANNY DEVITO), her psychiatrist, and Cecilia's sisters, 17-year-old Therese (LESLIE HAYMAN), 16-year-old Mary (A.J. COOK), 15-year-old Bonnie (CHELSE SWAIN) and 14-year-old Lux (KIRSTEN DUNST).

Even so, the Lisbons try to get on with their lives. As such, they decide to throw a party and thus invite some of the neighborhood boys over, including Tim (JONATHAN TUCKER), Chase (ANTHONY DESIMONE) and others who are completely enamored by the blond Lisbon sisters.

Unfortunately, the party doesn't help Cecilia who eventually succeeds at her fatal quest and sends her family reeling. It's not until high school football hunk Trip Fontaine (JOSH HARTNETT) decides he wants to ask Lux to the prom -- mainly because she's the epitome of forbidden fruit to him -- that the family finally breaks out of their funk.

Another unexpected turn of events, however, soon has Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon tightening their overprotective reigns over their daughters to an even greater degree. As the near isolation and restrictive environment takes its toll on the sisters, they react in ways that will leave a lasting impression on the boys so taken with them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The presence of Kirsten Dunst and the whole teen element may draw some teens, but this one doesn't seem to have enough "buzz" going for it to make it a "must see" film for kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong thematic elements involving teens.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAMES WOODS plays the girls' restrictive father, the high school math teacher.
  • KATHLEEN TURNER plays his equally restrictive homemaker wife who understandably goes into deep depression after one of her daughter's suicides and then clamps down even more on the remaining daughters.
  • KIRSTEN DUNST plays the second youngest daughter who becomes the most rebellious. She stays out all night after the prom and apparently sleeps with Trip (and may smoke a joint), and then after she's put into a domestic lockdown by her parents, she become promiscuous with many other boys (on the roof of her parents' house).
  • JOSH HARTNETT plays the high school football hunk who pursues Lux, but after he apparently sleeps with her he wants nothing to do with her. He also smokes some pot.
  • HANNA R. HALL plays the youngest Lisbon sister who finally succeeds at committing suicide on at least the second attempt.
  • CHELSE SWAIN, A.J. COOK, and LESLIE HAYMAN play the other sisters who go to extreme measures in reacting to their parents' restrictive methods.
  • JONATHAN TUCKER plays one of the neighbor boys who's enamored with the Lisbon sisters and spies upon them (with his friends) via a telescope.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. While most of the actual attempts aren't seen, several teenage characters attempt and/or are successful at committing suicide (via slitting wrists, jumping from heights, hanging, head in the gas oven, and sitting in a running car in a closed garage). Beyond possibly being imitated by distraught teens, such actions obviously create tense family moments and, coupled with other behavior, cause the parents of those teens to put their kids under a restrictive "house arrest."

    In response, one of the teenage girls becomes promiscuous, apparently sleeping with a guy on a football field (who uses her just for sex) and then having sex with various men on the roof of her parents' house. As such, we see some "fooling around," but nothing that's explicit. In addition, a few non-explicit sexually related comments also occur.

    Profanity consists of 1 "s" word along with a few colorful phrases, some drinking and smoking occurs while a few characters also briefly smoke pot. Beyond that and some other imitative behavior, the rest of the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of other major objectionable content. Nonetheless, and as always, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific information. For those concerned with the repetitive flashing of bright lights, some slow moments of that occur during a slide show.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mr. Lisbon has a beer beside him.
  • A woman has a martini.
  • Trip smokes a joint.
  • A guy on the football team tells Trip that he'll give him three joints if he arranges for him to go out with one of the Lisbon girls.
  • Trip smokes another joint, and Lux then smokes what may be a joint.
  • Trip and Lux hide under the bleachers at a dance and drink peach schnapps. One of her sisters and one of his friends then join them, but the sister says she doesn't want any.
  • People drink at a party and one drunken man falls into a pool.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a bathroom floor.
  • We hear a girl vomiting at a party.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some may see the parents' ultra restrictive ways as being somewhat disrespectful of their teenage daughters, while others may see the girls' reaction, especially by Lux, as having the same attributes.
  • A boy snoops around inside one of the Lisbon's bathrooms.
  • Trip and Lux tell one of her sisters not to be such a "goody-goody" (while under the bleachers at a dance with another boy and a bottle of peach schnapps that she doesn't want to drink).
  • After possibly having sex with Lux in the middle of the football field at night, Trip leaves her there, alone and asleep.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Several characters, including Mr. Lisbon, imagine seeing or having visions of Cecilia after she's dead.
  • We see that the sisters killed themselves via hanging (we see the swinging feet), putting one's head into the gas oven, another via sleeping pills and the last using a running car in a closed garage (the sight of the results of some of that may be disturbing to some viewers).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sucker," "Idiot," "Bitch," "Chicks" and "Babes" (women).
  • The girls attempt and finally succeed at committing suicide (via an attempted wrist slashing, then a successful leap and landing on the spikes of a wrought-iron fence, a hanging, a head in the oven, sleeping pills and another via a running car in a closed garage).
  • A distraught boy jumps from the roof of his house, but doesn't end up killing himself and walks away.
  • A girl on TV states that she made a pie with rat poison (for herself), but her grandmother ending up eating eat.
  • Using a telescope, the narrator and his friends spy on Lux sexually fooling around with guys on the roof of her house.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A minor bit of ominous music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "s" word, 1 slang term for female genitals ("squeeze box"), 1 ass, 2 uses of "Oh God," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Lux sunbathing in a bikini.
  • The guys read the girls' diary and learn that Lux lusted after the garbage man.
  • Some boys talk/boast about sex with one talking about a girl's "squeeze box" (genitalia) and one telling the others that if they want to know what happened with him and Lux they should "smell my fingers," and then states that they "weren't exactly talking if you know what I mean."
  • We see Trip in just a towel.
  • Trip and Lux briefly, but passionately kiss in his car.
  • We see an imagined shot of Lux in her panties with Trip's name on them.
  • Trip and Lux make out under the bleachers at a dance.
  • We see Trip between Lux's legs as they lie on the football field at night (still clothed, but with some heavy breathing). We later see them together on the field, but aren't sure if they had sex, although that's what's suggested.
  • The narrator comments that after the Lisbons grounded their daughters, that's when they started seeing her making love with random men on the roof. As such, we see the boys using a telescope to spy on her and see her fooling around with some guy (but nothing explicit). A question is then asked, "Do you think what we just did was dirty?" and another says that it's not. The guys then continue spying and comment on her hands moving down, and then of her being on top of this guy, and then that guy being "done" and getting up.
  • One of the sisters wears a somewhat transparent gown that partially shows her panties through it.
  • Lux suggestively undoes one of the boy's belts.
  • SMOKING
  • Lux smokes a few times, while a doctor, one of the sisters and some people at a party also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The Lisbons must deal with Cecilia's attempted and then later successful suicide (with Mrs. Lisbon naturally be depressed and going into seclusion), as well as other subsequent suicides. As a result, they put the girls in a domestic lockdown that creates tension between the parents and children.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Suicide, particularly among teens.
  • Overprotective/restrictive parents.
  • Mrs. Lisbon orders that Lux burn her albums for believing they had an evil influence over her.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see that a girl tried to kill herself via slitting her wrists (we don't see the actual act).
  • We see that a girl killed herself by jumping from her house and purposefully or accidentally landing on the spikes of a wrought-iron fence.
  • We see that the sisters killed themselves via hanging (we see the swinging feet of one), putting one's head into the gas oven, another via sleeping pills and the last using a running car in a closed garage.



  • Reviewed March 9, 2000 / Posted May 5, 2000

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