In UPTOWN GIRLS, 22-year-old Molly Gunn (played by Brittany Murphy), the freewheeling daughter of a deceased rock legend, is pulling out all the stops to throw herself a fancy party in New York City. She leaves her filthy rich-girl apartment, walks past dozens of flowers and gifts, and goes dancing at a club with all her socialite friends. There, she meets a little precocious eight-year-old Ray (played by Dakota Fanning), the oft-ignored daughter of a female music executive (played by Heather Locklear), whom her friend, Huey, is babysitting. Huey tells Molly that Ray has gone through multiple nannies and really needs a new, tougher one, now. Molly laughs and wishes them luck. She then meets the handsome Joe, a guitar player who gives her an incredible birthday serenade.
After bringing him home to her piggy apartment (It literally is piggy; she owns a little pink pig who runs around the place and makes it even messier!), she finally seduces him into going to bed with her. It helps that she owns the full guitar collection of her famous rock star father. Joe is appalled the next morning when he realizes how truly piggy the apartment is, but he sticks around enough to play the famous guitars. Molly is certain they are in love.
All seems well for a few days, until Molly is informed that her manager has absconded with all her money – and her parents’ money, and she is now flat broke. In comes Huey again, with the same need for the precocious brat who needs a nanny. Reluctantly, Molly takes the job, but by the second day, after a huge fight with the germ-conscious, hyper-rules-oriented, uptight child, she walks out. After realizing that Joe is really not available for her, and that she’s truly more broke than she’d dreamed, she manages to get her job back and tries to get to know Ray. She finds out that Ray’s father is in a coma in the library, so Ray has spent her entire eight years pretty much void of any kind of parenting, and thus has the hyper-parentally-inverted personality.
Molly shares that her parents died in a plane crash when she was eight, and that she’d gone to Coney Island to spin and spin on the “Teacups” to take the pain away. After that, she had never been able to grow up. She is a grown woman with a little girl’s soul. The two girls look hard at one another – the child with an adult outlook, and the adult stuck in child gear. They decide to teach each other how to act one’s age. Through poignant and often humorous adventures, the ladies learn some valuable life lessons.
UPTOWN GIRLS is sweet and sad, accurately portraying the ache in the heart of parentless children. How wonderful it would have been if the filmmakers had shown healing through a portrayal of restoration of the father-heart of God, or even a symbolic earthly male, or someone who represented the El Shaddai, but they don’t. They suggest spinning in teacups at a carnival. They show wounded girls trying to heal other wounded girls, which is sweet but an inadequate picture of God’s plan for true healing.
The movie is marred by some obscenities and sexual overtones (though it is probably true that fatherless girls are often promiscuous because they have a pronounced hunger for male affirmation). There are also portrayals of yoga and meditation, as well as some New Age affirmations. Should parents choose to take their young teenagers to UPTOWN GIRLS, it would be a worthwhile exercise to discuss the heart pain and behavior patterns of fatherless children and the difference between the movie’s solution for therapy and God’s plan for true healing.
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SUMMARY: In UPTOWN GIRLS, Molly Gunn, the freewheeling daughter of a deceased rock legend, is forced to get a job as a nanny for precocious Ray, the oft-ignored 8-year-old daughter of a music executive. UPTOWN GIRLS is sweet and sad, accurately portraying the ache in the heart of parentless children, but it contains some light foul language, implied sex, and New Age content.
(H, FR, Pa, B, LL, V, S, N, AA, D, M) Humanist worldview portraying hopeless responses to tragedy and some portrayals of yoga/meditation/New Age techniques for “centering soul,” yet some moral elements with clear need for fathers portrayed, as well as fruits of slothfulness versus responsibility and discipline; about six mild obscenities and about eight light profanities; violence includes an attempted suicide by jumping off bridge, but girl lands upright in shallow water; sexual scene(s) implied but not overtly shown; scantily-clad ladies shown in negligees and underwear; many portrayals of alcohol; some portrayals of smoking; and, lying, carousing, etc.