Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that while this movie will appeal to teens, particularly because of the popularity of its star Reese Witherspoon, it deals realistically and seriously with issues such as: trust, family bonds, adolescent sexuality, and loyalty, as well as the fragility and unpredictability of life. References and scenes that depict kissing, lovemaking, and partial nudity are designed to treat the characters, as well as the audience, with respect and dignity; nothing feels gratuitous for teens and up. There is a particularly shocking farm accident that has dire results.
Teen girl in bra and panties in several scenes. Young female teen shown jumping into a pond naked; it's a rear view, from a discreet distance. Naked boy swimming in pond. Older teens shown in gentle embrace, then necking passionately. Same couple is seen in soft-hued distance naked after sex.
Horrific accident on farm involving a thresher is seen from various angles, none overly close-up, graphic, or exploitative. Teen girl is hit with belt by father.
Mild swearing on a very few occasions: "you ass," "goddamn," "get your cherry," "boobs."
Adolescent behavior portrayed realistically and sensitively. Consequences of misbehavior are clear and consistent. 1950s parenting is shown to be strict, loving, and, in one instance, bordering on extreme, but true to the time and place. Human struggle between heart and mind, at any age, is examined truthfully. Role models exhibiting good values and admirable behavior are subtly drawn, but their impact is clear and heartfelt.
Drugs / Tobacco /