Story

Monte Carlo is about the adventures of three young American women who go for a short holiday to France. Grace Bennett (Selena Gomez) and her best friend Emma Perkins (Katie Cassidy) have been saving for the vacation for months. They change their plans at the last moment to include Grace’s older stepsister, Meg Kelly-Bennett (Leighton Meester). Initially, there are lots of tensions in the girls’ relationships. As the days pass, however, the girls encounter unexpected events that force them to rethink their lives, values and relationships with others.

The most significant of these events involves a case of mistaken identity. Meg and Emma notice that Grace looks a lot like English heiress Cordelia Winthrop Scott (also played by Selena Gomez). Cordelia happens to be in Paris at the same time as the girls. When Grace is mistaken for Cordelia by staff at an exclusive hotel, the girls decide to make the most of the situation. As a result, they end up in Monte Carlo. The situation changes in ways they don’t expect and becomes increasingly complex.

Themes

Relationship difficulties; deception; theft

Violence

This movie includes a few instances of physical violence. For example:

  • Cordelia slaps Theo in the face.
  • Meg, Grace and Emma stop Cordelia leaving the hotel by tying her to a chair and gagging her with an apple.

In addition, several scenes involve verbal violence. For example:

  • Cordelia yells at Theo.
  • Grace yells at Meg and Emma.
  • Aunt Alicia verbally threatens Grace.
  • Emma verbally threatens Cordelia.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the violent scenes mentioned above.

From 5-8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Riley jumps from a great height into the sea after balancing on the edge of a vast rock formation.
  • Grace, Emma and Meg inch along small ledges and climb over railings outside a hotel room located several storeys above the ground.
  • Police are shown rushing towards the girls’ hotel room. It looks like Grace, Meg and Emma will be arrested for fraud.

From 8-13

Younger children in this age group might also be worried by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Sexual references

This movie includes some sexual references. For example:

  • Theo looks suggestively at Grace.
  • Emma dances in an enthusiastic, sensual way at a French nightclub.
  • Grace uses sensual movements while teaching Theo to wolf-whistle.
  • A fireworks display is used as a metaphor for the mounting excitement and sexual tension in the girls’ new relationships.
  • Meg goes back to the hotel the morning after a date with Riley. Although the movie doesn’t show any sexual scenes, it looks like Riley and Meg have spent the night together.
  • Grace says to Emma, ‘You’re a bad girl’. Emma replies, ‘What did I do?’ Grace looks knowingly at Emma and replies, ‘What didn’t you do?’
  • When a young French airline steward gives Emma something to eat on a plane, she smilingly says, ‘Mmm, warm nuts’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Several scenes in this movie show characters drinking alcohol. This happens at social occasions such as balls, sporting events, charity functions, a beachside bar and a family dinner. All of the key characters (who are over 18) drink alcohol in these scenes, but the movie doesn’t show them getting drunk.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some partial nudity and mild sexual activity. For example:

  • An unidentified man lies naked in a bath, but we can’t see the lower part of his body.
  • Several characters wear tight or revealing clothing and swimwear.
  • Riley constantly wears his shirts unbuttoned to the waist.
  • Several characters hug and kiss.

Product placement

Some products are displayed, used or referred to in this movie. They include Hello! Magazine, The Parisian newspaper, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Mercedes Benz cars, Rolls Royce cars, Chanel perfume and Oscar de la Renta dresses.

Coarse language

This movie has some coarse language and insults.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Monte Carlo is a teenage romantic comedy. The movie’s main message is about finding and being true to your inner self. This is better than relying on money and possessions to create a false personality. Nevertheless, you might be worried about the way the main characters lie and pretend to be someone else, and the fact that nothing much happens to them as a result.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include honesty, loyalty and courage.