Sugar & Spice

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

Diane (Marley Shelton), the ever-perky captain of the A-Squad, leads a team of all-American teenage cheerleaders at Lincoln High. But Lisa (Marla Sokoloff), the B-squad head, thinks Dianes place is rightfully hers. Its love at first sight when Diane meets Jack (James Marsden), the new football quarterback, which leads to a pregnant Diane. But when the young lovers face the difficulty of paying bills on an after-school budget, the A-squad rallies to the challenge of robbing a bank for a good cause. Mena Suvari, the seductive cheerleader from AMERICAN BEAUTY, plays Kansas, whose mother (Sean Young) is doing time for killing her adulterous spouse. After a prison visit, her mother feels proud to help Kansas and friends with the less-than-legal homework. But Lisa is on hand when the A-squad makes their move and comes up with evidence that could take Diane and her team out of the picture. This somewhat silly satire will attract teens, and, unfortunately, pre-teens, but lacks the spark to light up the box office.

This PG-13 film is filled with adult humor such as scenes of feminine products being passed between bathroom stalls during a narration about A-squads togetherness. The team frequently consults a Ouija board even though one member is characterized as super Christian. The same girl gives a fairly explicit description of her first sexual experience. Nor does she seem to mind the idea of stealing from a bank or the school lunch lady. While the realities of high school finances are touched upon, theres nothing real about a pregnant cheerleader (much less the team captain) remaining active on the squad. Although Diane rejects Kansas suggestion of abortion, the film seems to endorse her high school sexual activities as acceptable. Satire often exaggerates stereotypes for effect but the film is filled with numerous sexual innuendoes and implied sexual encounters that could mislead young audiences. Frequent foul language and serious crimes with minimum consequences further the idea that SUGAR AND SPICE is nothing to cheer about.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th flr., New York, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (21) times - Mild 10, moderate 11

Obscene Language: Many (26) times - F-word 1, s-word 20, other 5

Profanity: Many (25) times - Regular 13 (GD 6, G2, J 2, JC, C, C sake); exclamatory 12 (OMG 8, OG 3, Thank G)

Violence: Few times - Slapstick, mild and moderate (boy kicked in head by cheerleader, slap, gun fired)

Sex: Implied several times (teen couple coming or going into closets/ room)

Nudity: Near nudity - Few times (girls in bras, nightwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - references to sexual activity, girl describes first sexual experience,

Drugs: cigarette smoking by inmates

Other: Implied teen has breast augmented, reference to monthly cycle, feminie hygene product passed along bathroom stalls, reality of married budget/ teens getting loan, gift of magi story referenced, disparaging portrayal of Christia,. vomiting, some realities of pregnancy portrayed(morning sickness, urination, Lamaze classes), abortion mentioned by rejected, ouija board used even by Christian girl, girl says pictures of near naked crucifixion made her sexually excited, video of deer giving birth, flatulence sounds, girl lies to join team

Running Time: 87 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.