Story

This movie is a modern re-telling of the classic fairy tale of Snow White. Young Sydney White (Amanda Bynes) begins her freshman year at Southern Atlantic University. Here she innocently lays challenge to the resident ‘queen’ of popularity, student president Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton).  Driven out of the sorority by Rachel, Sydney is forced into the company of seven young men affectionately known  as ‘dorks’. She nurtures and encourages them to rise up against Rachel and her sorority followers to improve life on campus.  Along the way, Sydney finds her true love as well as freedom of speech.

Themes

Adolescence and puberty; peer group pressure; body image

Violence

There is some slapstick style violence and accidental injury in this movie. For example:

  • A footballer tries to hit George (one of the seven dorks) in the head with a football. Sydney stops the ball and throws it, hitting the footballer in the head instead.
  • When Lenny is asked to wait for Sydney in the girls’ bathroom, an older lady finds him and hits him with her handbag.
  • A poorly thrown frisbee accidentally hits Rachel in the back of the head.
  • Someone throws a pillow at Spanky and it hits him in the groin.
  • Rachel pushes a girl at the wall then gets ‘rugby tackled’ to the ground by two of her friends.

Content that may disturb children

From 8-13

Children in this age range could be disturbed by dialogue that suggests that Sydney’s mother died when Sydney was very young. Sydney often looks at keepsakes and a photo of her mother. She reads a letter from her mother prepared for her first day at college, before her mother died.

Over 13

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

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie. For example:

  • A construction worker wolf-whistles to a buxom passer-by. A girl copies by whistling to a cute boy.
  • Father tries to explain puberty to young Sydney using a model of plumbing materials to represent reproductive organs, calling them ‘lady tubes’.
  • A college boy uses binoculars to admire bodies of female students. He says things such as, ‘Nice’ and ‘Three’s company’.
  • The Kappa girls’ theme song includes the action of slapping their backsides provocatively.
  • ‘In another three weeks, he’s going to pin me.’
  • Spanky raises his eyebrows suggestively at attractive girls, saying, ‘Hello-o-o-o!’
  • Spanky asks Lenny: ‘What did she do to you in the bathroom? What did she do?’
  • Spanky is reported to ‘keep himself happy’.
  • Spanky says he is ‘off to work the Spanky magic’ on vulnerable Sydney.
  • Sydney says, ‘As long as he doesn’t try to hump my bunny slippers’.
  • Dressed in a sexy dressing gown, Spanky seductively asks Sydney whether she ‘needs’ anything.
  • Boys stare at Sydney’s empty sports bra saying, ‘That thing has touched boobs’.
  • Spanky moves his fitness ball closer to a girl on an exercise machine to be able to look up her shorts.
  • Sydney’s male friends help her pick an outfit for her first date, telling her, ‘You need something sexy’.
  • Spanky often talks about wanting to have sex with girls.
  • Girls at a keg party ask the dorks, ‘Where have you studs been hiding?’ This is followed by seductive behaviour such as blowing in George’s ear and enticing them outside for a naked hot-tub meeting.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There is some use of substances in this movie. For example, the movie includes a keg-drinking contest and obvious signs of heavy drinking at parties represented by towers of alcoholic cans.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie. For example:

  • Characters kiss, sometimes wearing only a towel or petticoat.
  • A man exposes himself (not seen directly) to Sydney as she cleans the urinal next to the one he is using.
  • The dorks are seen topless (implied naked) outside a public party.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Stanley tools, Greyhound buses, Audi sports cars, All Star sneakers, MySpace, Apple computers, Gucci, Prada, Medal of Honour, Viva Pinata, Halo, Bundaberg Rum, Johnnie Walker, Scooby Doo (Hanna-Barbera), Star Wars, and ibet.com.

Coarse language

This movie includes some coarse language, name-calling and verbal putdowns.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Sydney White is a modern story based on the classic fairytale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The main messages from this movie are that perseverance, friendship, loyalty and integrity will win over class and racial differences.

You might like to talk with your children about some of the issues presented in this movie, such as:

  • peer group pressure
  • treatment of minority groups and the disadvantaged
  • loyalty in friendships
  • standing up for what you believe in
  • bullying.

You could also discuss other issues such as using promiscuity and sexual relations to gain social status and popularity.