Movie Review: Monte Carlo

Opening this weekend for summer movie goers is the family-friendly chick-flick Monte Carlo, starring Disney channel star Selena Gomez.

I say “family-friendly” because this movie is as close to squeaky-clean as you can get. The PG rating is for “brief mild language,” but I actually don’t even remember any “brief mild language.” What an enjoyable change of pace, too – being able to watch a movie with my two oldest teen daughters and not feel a blush rising up my face as things get…inappropriate…on screen.

And I say “chick-flick” because, honestly, I can’t imagine a boy of any age really enjoying this movie. It’s a girl’s Cinderella, coming-of-age story all the way. Which was JUST FINE with my daughters and me!

Monte Carlo is all the things you want a chick-flick to be: romantic, sweet, funny, and a generally good time. The soundtrack is great, and the boys? Oh, the boys are pretty darned cute!

But what surprised me about Monte Carlo were some of the deeper emotional themes, which were just enough to add a more mature, robust feeling to this movie. It’s not Kramer vs Kramer here, but the movie definitely offered more than the cotton candy/syrupy sweet stuff I was expecting.

There are parts of the Monte Carlo that are definitely slower than others, but I personally like the way everything unfolded. I also enjoyed Selena Gomez in this movie, sweet but solid, and her friend and step-sister in the film, played by Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester. Apparently I live under a rock, because I was not familiar with these other two actresses, who I guess are well-known from the CW show Gossip Girl. I’m glad I didn’t make the association, though, so I could enjoy each of them playing into their characters, each complicated for their own reasons.

Monte Carlo is ultimately predictable and not especially profound, but I found myself attached to the story and had fun following these girls on their wild ride through Texas, Paris, Monte Carlo, and beyond.

*Disclosure: My two oldest daughters and I were able to attend a press screening of this film in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own. And I dare you not to swoon – even just a little! – over Luke Bracey, who plays Riley in this movie. Yum!

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