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How to Build a Girl | 2020 | R | – 7.3.6

content-ratingsWhy is “How to Build a Girl” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “sexual content, language throughout and some teen drinking.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several scenes with descriptions of sexual encounters accompanied by depictions of a teen girl having sex with several different men, and a few scenes of cleavage revealing outfits and people wearing swimsuits; an attempted suicide, discussions of illness and suicide, scenes of bullying, many arguments, several scenes of a teen girl drinking to excess, and over 20 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


A 16-year-old girl (Beanie Feldstein) is desperate to see some purpose in her life, frustrated by feeling helpless. When she gets a chance to reinvent herself with a new, more accomplished persona, she quickly realizes that it’s not really who she wants to be. Also with Cleo, Dónal Finn, Paddy Considine, Laurie Kynaston, Stellan Powell, Sarah Solemani, Emma Thompson, Michael Sheen, Sue Perkins, Alfie Allen, Mel Giedroyc, Chris O’Dowd and Bob Mortimer. Directed by Coky Giedroyc. [Running Time: 1:42]

How to Build a Girl SEX/NUDITY 7

 – A teen girl talks to her teen brother about having had sex for the first time and losing her virginity and that it turns out that, “I’m really good at it”; we see encounters with several different men as she describes them and we see one man wearing jockey underwear (his bare chest and abdomen are shown) as he faints when he sees her nipple (we see her bare back and no breasts are shown); she is shown thrusting on top of another man, another man thrusts on top of her, a man thrusts from behind her, and we see a man standing nude in front of her as she describes his endowment as being “too big.”
 A teen girl and a man kiss passionately outside a concert hall. A teen girl and a teen boy kiss. A teen girl imagines kissing a man. A teen girl tells a man that she is in love with him and tries to kiss him; he pulls away and leaves. A woman and a teen girl kiss and men watch with interest.
 A man in an office setting asks a teen girl to sit on his lap; she does and she bounces up and down aggressively and then wraps her arm around his neck. A man sits in a bathtub and a teen girl lies in a bed in a hotel room where they presumably sleep (no sex is implied). Several men talk about whether they would have sex with a teen girl and she overhears them.
 A teen girl imagines several young men walking past a window and paying attention to her; one man winks at her, a few look at her with interest, one licks an ice cream cone, and one man wearing a Speedo type swimsuit (we see his bare chest, abdomen and legs to the hips) dances through a sprinkler.
 A teen boy talks about kissing another teen boy in a car that they drove to an isolated area and covered all the windows. A teen girl asks portraits of women on a wall how men make women climax and the advice the women give is to self-stimulate. A teen boy talks romantically about another teen boy in several scenes. A man talks about having kissed another man. A teen boy tells his teen sister that he had a “flirty” encounter with another boy on a bus and he wants to share with her. A man tells a teen boy that he had sex with the teen boy’s mother when they were younger. A teen girl talks about waiting for her “romantic hero.” A teen girl says, “Adventure starts with me, not with a boy.” A teen girl describes who she wants to be as someone who “has sex.” A girl says, “I want to have sexual intercourse.” A reference is made to “ovulation.” A boy asks his older sister of he will have a period and she says, “Yes.” A teen girl tells a man, “I’m sorry I tried to kiss you.” A teen girl talks about wanting to go to gay clubs. A man tells a teen girl that they are destined to be in love one day, when she is older.
 A book cover has a drawing of a woman’s nude torso with bare breasts and abdomen shown. A teen girl tries to zip up the front of her jacket and her mother makes a remark about her ample bosom. A teen girl wears several cleavage revealing outfits throughout the movie. A woman wears cleavage revealing T-shirts in a few scenes. Portraits of women on a wall show some wearing low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage. A teen girl wears shorts with fishnet stockings underneath that reveal some of her lower buttocks when she bends over. A teen girl wears a crop top that reveals part of her bare abdomen. A teen girl makes a swimsuit out of a plastic garbage bag (we see cleavage, bare abdomen and legs to the hips). A man is shown wearing briefs in a scene as he climbs out of bed and puts on a robe. A teen girl gets out of bed leaving a man sleeping and we see her wearing a shirt and underwear (her partial bare abdomen, cleavage and bare legs are shown. Men and women at a pool party are shown wearing swimsuits that reveal women’s cleavage, bare abdomens and legs and men’s bare chest and abdomens.
 A teen girl in gym class vaults onto and off a box and when she turns around she sees that her sanitary napkin (with blood on it) has landed on the floor and other girls laugh at her.


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How to Build a Girl VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 – A teen girl pokes her arm with the pointed end of a protractor, and she bumps a shelf that drops a statue on her head knocking her unconscious; we see her with a bloody wound wrapped with a bandage in the hospital later.
 A man throws a record into the air and another man shoots it; a teen girl then shoots another record thrown into the air and she says, “I just shot dad” (it was her father’s record). A teen girl lights a garbage can full of articles on fire in her room. Two men repossess a TV for lack of payment of the bill.
 Several teen boys tease a teen girl, chase her and throw stones or something at her until her father speaks to them and they run off. Several teen boys tease a teen girl when she drops a book; they call her names and throw the book at her, hitting her in the head (she say “Ow”). A teen girl in gym class vaults onto and off a box and when she turns around she sees that her sanitary napkin (with blood on it) has landed on the floor and other girls laugh at her.
 A teen girl screams and chases a bus as it pulls away in the rain. A teen girl in an airplane seems frightened as they take off, but calms when they climb above the clouds. A teen girl reads a poem on TV, she is extremely nervous, and then acts a bit intoxicated when she speaks to the host and imitates a popular animated dog character. A boy holds his father’s leg and is dragged on the floor as the man walks away. A teen boy breaks his piggy bank with “Running Away Fund” written on it. A teen girl imagines stage diving.
 A teen boy tells a teen girl, “Touch that and die” when she reaches toward his album collection and record player. Several men tease a teen girl when she goes to a magazine office for a job interview and she leaves disappointed, and then returns indignant and gets an assignment. A teen girl writes several scathing reviews of concerts and she becomes very popular. People boo as a teen girl enters an award ceremony and she says, “Your hate is delicious.” A teen girl wins an award for her writing. A teacher tells a teen girl that she needs to choose between her delinquency and school and the teen walks out of the building. A teen girl argues with her parents and her brother about her working and paying their rent and their disappointment with her choices. Several men talk about whether they would have sex with a teen girl and she overhears them as they talk about her in saying she would be like “Pygmalion with a real pig.” A teen girl yells at several men and women after overhearing them talking about her in a disparaging manner. A woman talks to her teen daughter about being, “A sad old scared woman,” and that she shouldn’t’ get too close because, “You might catch it.” A woman accuses a man of “illegally claiming disability.” A man talks about his mother dying when he was young and that she would cry if she touched him or his siblings. A teen girl says that she failed her family and that she has to die; portraits on the wall speak to her and one woman says, “I’d wanna die too,” while another says that she can recommend a method. A reference is made to someone shooting a snail with an air rifle. A teen girl says, “I have too many brothers.” A teen girl talks about waiting for the moment in her life when everything changes. A teen girl talks about her mother having “surprise” twins later in life and that she suffers from post-natal depression. A teen girl says, “I’m becoming evil.” A woman says, “I’d kill for a bit of sleep.” A teen girl looks longingly into the “cool room” at school. A young boy asks his older sister if she is dying as she washes menstrual blood from her skirt; she tells him “no,” and when he asks if he will have a period she says, “Yes.” A woman says, “Cool people are the worst.” A woman tells a young man that he should, “Give your hair a wash.” A teen girl says that she, “OD’ed on life.” A teen girl says, “I want bigger things.” A man sings a song about heartbreak. A teen girl asks a singer why his songs are so sad. A teen girl tells her teacher that she “Lost her mojo.” A teen girl says that she has a faltering zest for life.” A woman yells at her husband when she hears that he sold their car to have records and marketing material pressed and printed; she says, “You sold the car for magic beans.” A man and a teen girl toast “To evil.” A man says that a song is “Raping my ears.” People chant, “Kill, kill, kill” while listening to music they don’t like. A teen girl exposes a sad incident from a man’s life that he told her in confidence. A man tells a teen girl, “I should never talk to you again,” and, “You sold me.”


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How to Build a Girl LANGUAGE 6

 – About 23 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 16 sexual references, 3 scatological terms, 12 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for Lesbians, name-calling (repulsive, brickers, hogwash, peerless evil, little boys, scabs, bastard, gatekeeper, hippies, horrible, hope smasher, hopeless, beast, weasel, bit of rough, bit of posh, Shirley Temple, frustrating, unbelievable, normal), exclamations (ow, friggin, oh baby, bloody), 4 religious exclamations (Jesus, Oh My God, God, Oh God). | profanity glossary |


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How to Build a Girl SUBSTANCE USE

 – People in a few concert hall scenes drink and smoke, several men in an office drink alcohol, a man drinks pints in a few scenes, a man drinks whiskey, a man drinks and smokes in a bar during an interview, partial glasses of wine and champagne are shown in a room, a teen girl drinks whisky from a bottle, and a man and a teen girl toast with alcohol. A portrait of a man on a wall smokes a cigar in a few scenes, several men are shown smoking cigarettes in an office, and a teen girl lights a cigarette and a man takes it and smokes it.


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How to Build a Girl DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Adventure, goals, dreams, lost dreams, post-natal depression, popular culture, forgiveness, humiliation, respect, suicide, attempted suicide, love, teen rebellion, melancholy, anxiety, sacrifice, disability, revenge, fear of rejection.

How to Build a Girl MESSAGE

 – Keep re-inventing yourself until you find out who you really are.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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