Sydney White Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Amanda Bynes seems to be taking her career development very seriously, picking projects with more substance (and often more edge) than those of many young actors. This contemporary adaptation of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fairytale is no different.
Raised by her single dad (John Schneider) on the construction site, Sydney White (Amanda Bynes) has developed useful building skills, a can-do attitude and a comfort level around most men. But now daddy’s little assistant is trading in her tool belt for a laptop and heading off to university with plans to pledge the same sorority as her late mom did.
However, Sydney soon discovers things have changed at the posh Greek house since her mother lived there. At the moment, this sisterhood has a nasty side to it. Led by sorority and student body president Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), the pinned members of the society force the new girls through a series of mean-spirited and humiliating pranks before picking their recruits—one of which is not Sydney.
Forced to pack her bags and move out of the palatial sorority house, the rejected freshman ends up in a rundown hovel known as the Vortex with a group of seven hopeless geeks. While moving in with a bunch of guys isn’t a stretch for Sydney, these nerds are totally mystified by a girl. Still, despite her odd housemates and their dilapidated dwelling, Sydney is content to live with the misfits. Then she comes across Rachael’s plans to demolish their home and replace it with an exclusive life center for the sorority.
Mounting a campaign for the upcoming student government elections, Sydney rallies her roommates, Lenny (Jack Carpenter), Terrence (Jeremy Howard), Gurkin (Danny Strong), Jeremy (Adam Hendershott), Spanky (Samm Levine), George (Arnie Pantoja) and Embele (Donte Bonner), to help her take back the campus. Running on a platform that focuses on the similarities the student body shares rather than the differences, she tries to garner votes from all sections of the campus.
But when Rachel launches a tainted apple at Sydney’s attempt to unite the undergraduates, it takes the help of a prince (Matt Long) to get things back on track.
Offering a refreshing take on an old narrative, this script cleverly incorporates elements of the fairytale into a modern day setting. Yet despite its good messages—acceptance, tolerance, and the success of hard work—the film still slips in bouts of bullying, infrequent profanities, alcohol-fueled parties and one sex-obsessed geek who is trying desperately to lose his virginity. With so much good to say to young teens, it’s a shame this story is poisoned with a little too much content.Starring Amanda Bynes, Matt Long, Sara Paxton, John Schneider, Samm Levine. Theatrical release September 20, 2007. Updated April 15, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Sydney White rated PG-13? Sydney White is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some language, sexual humor and partying.
This creative remake of the Snow White story is definitely for an older crowd than the original fairy tale. The greatest concerns for parents will be various moments of sexual innuendo and talk of “hooking up.” One young man is particularly preoccupied with the idea of finding any girl to have sex with (although we are never told if this actually happens). Other nerdy males (who parallel Snow White’s seven dwarfs) are enthralled with the idea of a girl sharing their college home with them, and spend time gazing at her bra hanging in the closet. But Sydney’s long desired dream to join a sorority becomes more of a nightmare when she and other recruits are subjected to cruel pranks, name-calling and disrespectful terms for women. While one girl is mistakenly hit in the head with a Frisbee, other characters are intentionally attacked with water guns and publicly humiliated in front of their peers. Alcohol consumption at a frat house party includes a drinking contest between the students.
Page last updated April 15, 2009
Sydney White Parents' Guide
Why is Sydney so eager to join the sorority? What does she discover about herself and the other girls during pledge week? Why is she worried about disappointing her father?
What similarities does this film have with the original fairytale? How do the writers use names to distinguish the personalities of the characters? How do the seven geeks compare with the dwarfs?
What lessons does Sydney learn from her classroom experience that applies to real life? How does she implement those lessons into her campaign?
The most recent home video release of Sydney White movie is January 21, 2008. Here are some details…
The DVD release of Sydney White is accompanied by seven (minus one) featurettes. They are: Sydney White and Her Prince (meet the stars Amanda Bynes and Matt Long), Kappa’s Forever? (introducing the sorority sisters), Meet the Seven Dorks (get to know the geeks), Welcome to the Vortex (tour the set), The Skooze (all about the mascot) and The Original Dork (a look at the making of the movie, with director Joe Nussbaum and the cast). Other bonus extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel and theatrical trailers. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English and French), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
Walt Disney’s version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, based on a Grimm’s fairytale, was released in 1937 as the first full-length animated feature film to come out in the United States. Amanda Bynes plays a young girl who hops a plane and heads for London in search of her estranged father in What a Girl Wants.