Girl Asleep is a quirky and whimsical coming-of-age story set in 1970s suburban Australia. Greta (Bethany Whitmore) has moved into a new neighbourhood and is about to turn 15. Life is embarrassing enough, but when her parents (Amber McMahon and Matthew Whittett) decide to throw her a birthday party she feels completely out of her depth. As the guests arrive, Greta is overwhelmed. She’s thrown into a dream sequence that takes us deep into her imagination.
Growing up; fitting in at school; peer pressure; bullying; sexuality and sexual consent
Girl Asleep has some physical and verbal violence. For example:
- There is a scene where Greta must fight the school bullies. This involves punching, kicking and damage to property.
- The school bullies make a tape for Greta’s birthday party, with an abusive song about her. They play it to all the party guests.
- Greta has an argument with a friend and calls him a ‘homo’. She later apologises.
Girl Asleep has some sexual references. For example:
- Greta’s sister has a boyfriend, and the movie implies that they have a sexual relationship.
- Greta’s sister’s boyfriend is extremely flirtatious with all the female characters.
- The popular schoolgirls have a conversation about how to kiss boys.
- Greta’s best friend asks her if they can become more than friends.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Girl Asleep shows some use of substances. For example:
- Adults smoke, and teenage girls hold cigarettes.
- Adults drink wine.
Nudity and sexual activity
Girl Asleep shows some sexual activity. For example, Greta’s sister’s boyfriend tries to seduce Greta in her bedroom. There is a mild implied threat of sexual assault, but Greta stands up for herself and nothing happens.
Nothing of concern
Girl Asleep has quite frequent coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Girl Asleep is an original, funny and warm look at the inner world of adolescence. It explores what it feels like to become comfortable in your own skin as you grow up and mature. Although the movie is very quirky and surreal at times, it portrays anxieties and fears about growing up that are universal and real.
There are several scenes in this movie that are likely to scare younger children. Because of these and its themes, sexual references and coarse language, the movie is best suited to teenagers.
The main messages from this movie are that things that make us feel anxious, uncomfortable and worried might not be as bad as they seem, and we can overcome them.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include kindness, friendship, bravery and assertiveness.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about sexual consent and bullying behaviour.