Story

This movie is about Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts), a wilful, almost out-of-control, Malibu teenager.  After one particularly wild party, her father (Aidan Quin) sends Poppy to Abbey Mount, a highly conservative girls’ boarding school in England. Extremely unhappy with her new surroundings and the strict rules of this institution, Poppy rebels. She behaves in obnoxious and disrespectful ways. 

After weeks of arrogant selfishness, Poppy begins to feels isolated. She eventually drops her guard enough to become friends with the other girls in her room. Nevertheless, Poppy still embarks on an all-out quest to be expelled so that she can go home.  Part of this plot involves the plan to get caught ‘snogging’ Freddie, the headmistress’s son (Alex Pettyfer). Her campaign of bad behaviour also earns her the anger of Hillary, the head prefect (Georgia King). She has never liked Poppy and proves to be a dangerous enemy.

At first, the headmistress, Mrs Kingsley (Natasha Richardson), tries to overlook Poppy’s wild behaviours. She hopes that Poppy might turn around herself.  But it seems that Poppy has gone too far and must face the consequences of her actions.

Themes

Teenage rebellion

Violence

There is some violence in this movie. For example:

  • Hillary slaps Poppy with two dead pheasants.
  • Hillary and Poppy swing at each other with lacrosse sticks.
  • Characters argue with each other and shout.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • Poppy is sent away to an English boarding school against her will.
  • Drippy is trapped in the freezer when the school kitchen is engulfed in flames and everyone fears for her life.
  • Poppy jumps off a high cliff into the ocean and her friends fear she has drowned.

From 8-13

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above. 

Over 13

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

Sexual references  

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

  • Poppy is asked by fellow students, ‘How many boys have you shagged?’ She responds to this by reeling off a long list of boys’ names
  • Later, Poppy admits she has never ‘done it’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Poppy and Freddy engage in some long kissing scenes.
  • There is one very brief scene showing the French teacher hopping quickly out of the PE teacher’s bed.  Although they are both clothed, the implication is that they have a sexual relationship.

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language 

This movie includes frequent mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Wild Child is an English comedy for teens featuring some good young performers.  The behaviours and language shown in the first part of the movie might be concerning for some parents. But the moral of the story could provide a valuable springboard for family discussions. 

The main message from this movie is that no-one should give up on themselves or others.  Even the most obnoxious person can change. Values in this movie that you might wish to discuss with your children include honesty, loyalty and courage.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk about the hurtful effect that self-centredness can have on other people. Poppy finds herself increasingly isolated as a result of her disrespectful and thoughtless behaviour. But then she begins to think about the hurt she has caused others and tries to change her life. She finds that people begin respecting her and she is able to make some genuine friends.