crazy/beautiful Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
crazy/beautiful introduces us to Carlos (Jay Hernandez), a Hispanic teen living in LA’s Boyle Heights. The victim of a runaway father, his mother works hard to provide him additional opportunities, including attending school in prestigious Pacific Palisades. With high hopes for his future, Carlos tackles each school day, framed by a two-hour bus ride, with determination and focus… until he meets Nicole (Kirsten Dunst).
Picking up litter to satisfy a community service sentence for a DUI charge, Nicole is obviously everything Carlos isn’t. The daughter of a congressman, her palatial Palisades glass house clearly represents the fragility of a life dominated by frequent intoxication, depression, and suicide attempts—the very situation that took her mother’s life. Unable to relate to her stepmother, and with her father’s busy schedule, Nicole is the poor rich girl desperate for someone to love. Pleading for Carlos’s affection, she feeds on his increasing infatuation.
This melodramatic Romeo and Juliet is amiss in not including a scene where the love struck Carlos plucks petals from a daisy while chanting, “She’s crazy. She’s beautiful. She’s crazy…” At the very least, it would explain the title. Playing a girl who appears to have forgotten to shower for a few months, the usually attractive Dunst is hardly “beautiful.” As for “crazy,” her character suffers from severe depression and indulges in risk taking to attract her father’s attention.
With a highly promiscuous past, Nicole’s wardrobe (which often barely covers her breasts), aggressive sexual behavior (her first attempt to seduce Carlos is in her glass bedroom while her father roams past outside), and addiction to alcohol, is a dangerous combination. Eventually succumbing to her advances, Carlos begins a sexually charged relationship (generously depicted with near nudity) in the hope of saving Nicole by providing the love that she yearns for.
With a realistic cocktail of teen emotions and high school life followed by a highly optimistic (and unlikely) ending chaser, crazy/beautiful uncorks some serious topics but doesn’t fully explore the consequences, leaving teens with mixed messages about the balance between sex/love and Carlos’ role as a rescuer/enabler.
Starring Kirsten Dunst Jay Hernandez. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release June 29, 2001. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is crazy/beautiful rated PG-13? crazy/beautiful is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic involving teens, drug/alcohol content, sexuality and language
A depressed and alcoholic white teen girl from a prominent family meets a hard working Hispanic teen boy from the poor side of LA. Their attraction soon turns into a compulsive infatuation leading to a relationship that might possibly destroy both their lives. crazy/beautiful depicts the teen environment of school and weekend parties (with tons of sex, language, drinking, and some violence), yet spends little time showing the real hard work involved in changing someone’s life for the better.
Girl speaks of robbing a 7-11. Teens are disrespectful of prison guard. Students are disobedient to a teacher during detention. High school football action. Teen girl (while intoxicated) drives through two red lights. Racial remarks spark street fight involving several young men. Angry boy yells at his mother, which begins an argument at the family dinner table. Talk of suicide, and mention of a mother who committed suicide, are followed by a song with the lyrics: “If I could sleep forever, I could forget about everything.” Party scene depicts quite a few presumably intoxicated young men listening to a band while wrestling and deliberately bumping into one another. Girl resists arrest.
Sexual Content: D-
All sexual content involves teenaged characters. Opening credits display small black & white image of a partially nude person. Girl dressed in pants, bra, and open jacket. Girl makes aggressive sexual advances toward teen boy by sitting on his lap while they are in the back seat of a moving car. Girl in a bra and jeans dances suggestively. Girl urinates in public street. Boy and girl kiss rather passionately, another girl tells them to get a motel room. Girls begin arguing at school. Girl wears thin white “crop top” without a bra during next few scenes, which include a close-up of her breasts. Boy and girl begin making physical sexual advances in high school darkroom—teacher walks in. Music sings about “How she gave me love.” Girl brings boy to her bedroom where he takes his shirt off and she removes her pants—shown wearing only the mentioned crop top and panties. Boy and girl begin sexual foreplay with shots that reveal nearly all of girl’s breasts under aforementioned top. Girl, in underwear, runs to kitchen and retrieves condom from cupboard. Girl tries to seduce boy in a bedroom with glass walls. When her father walks past, she says her dad doesn’t care what she does and that he’d be happy she has a condom. Girl asks boy if he would like to join the Mile High Club (meaning having sex in an airplane.) Teen couple seen having sex with some sounds and very near complete upper nudity. Girl seen from back naked. Naked boy and girl in bed (under the sheets) have a long discussion, then begin touching and kissing again. Boy and girl are seen kissing passionately at school in the hallway, darkroom, pool and other locations. Teen boys leeringly look at a young mother who has a child. Girls in bikinis. At a party a girl and boy are seen in bed together through a window in the background. Boy and girl seen in shower through semi-transparent shower door. Girl wears revealing top and underwear.
At least: One verbal sexual expletive and possibly others in a song with a sexual expletive in the title, 17 moderate profanities, 25 mild profanities, 12 terms of Deity used as expletives or profanities along with a character stating, “What would Jesus do?” in a mocking fashion. Other songs in this film’s soundtrack may contain undetected profanities. Also, some characters speak in Spanish and their remarks may contain profanities in that language.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C-
Teen shown taking prescription medication. Teens smoking on high school grounds. Students drinking alcohol at school. Teen girl mentions being arrested for DUI. Song sings of drinking whiskey all night. A long scene depicts two intoxicated teen girls, one of whom is driving. Teen boy tells his mother, “Everybody drinks but me.” Father discusses needing to help his teen overcome her problems, including alcoholism.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for crazy/beautiful after the break...
crazy/beautiful Parents' Guide
Many teens have a sincere desire to “save” other troubled teens. Parents who have teens that see this movie will want to discuss appropriate ways to help their friends overcome serious problems. Are there ways to support a struggling friend while still maintaining their own lives and standards, instead of entering into an intimate relationship the way Carlos does?
The character of Carlos has a loving mother who is concerned about her son’s well being, yet Carlos never takes the opportunity to discuss Nicole’s situation with his mother. Families may want to discuss the reluctance some children have in taking concerns to their parents. How do you think Carlos’s mother would have reacted had he talked to his mother right at the beginning?
What does this movie leave out at the end? What might have happened to Carlos’ career goals? What would Nicole have to endure in order to put her life back on track again?