Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that American Graffiti holds up beautifully for teens. Because it's set in the '60s, there is smoking and loads of drinking. There's a fistfight, some off-screen gunshots, drag racing, a car explotion, and a small amount of profanity ("s--t," "damn," hell"). Teens challenge authority, drink and drive, talk about sex, make out, and there's one shot of a boy's naked backside (in a drive-by mooning).
Flirting and backseat necking and petting. Flashing of bare bum (mooning).
Fisticuffs but no blood. Gunshots during a robbery. A car crash and a car explosion.
Sevearl uses of "s--t" and a handful of "damn," "ass," "hell," "bitchin'."
Friends express their loyalty to one another, and Steven and Laurie thoughtfully try to figure out what the uncertain future will do to their relationship. But also lots of edgy, rebellious teen behavior: drag racing, drunk driving, disrespecting authority (cops are mocked, for example). Non-white kids don't exist in this slice of early '60s America. One girl says she's not allowed to listen to Wolfman Jack because her parents (mistakenly) assume he's black.
Drugs / Tobacco /
One boy gets a stranger to buy alcohol at a liquor store and then gets so drunk that he throws up. He also drives after drinking. Teens smoke cigarettes, too.