Can't Buy Me Love

Can't Buy Me Love
Can't Buy Me Love
  • PG-13
  • 1h 34m
  • 1987
Common Sense Media Iconage 14+
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Nowhere-man Ronny Miller is secretly in love with Cindy Mancini, the prettiest, most popular girl on campus. When Cindy finds herself in a desperate predicament, Ronny steps to save the day - for a price! Cindy must pose as Ronny's girl so that her popularity might rub off on him. But the road to popularity takes an unexpected twist when Ronny becomes so "cool" that his former friends feel the chill. Cindy is left totally out in the cold, and Ronny himself discovers that might buy you popularity, but it can't buy you love!

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Time Out

A slight but not unenjoyable movie.

June 21, 2017
New York Times
Caryn James

The film thinks it wants to be sincere, when all it truly wants is to be popular, just like the ot...

June 17, 2017
Washington Post
Rita Kempley

As written by Michael Swerdlick and guided by Rash, the theme dissolves into a bland parody of pub...

June 16, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 14+
Common Sense Says
Dated '80s teen comedy has cursing, sex, stereotypes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Can't Buy Me Love is a 1987 teen comedy in which a young Patrick Dempsey plays a nerd who tries to buy his way into high school popularity. Strong language is thrown around in a casual way -- not only profanity like "f--k" and "s--t" but also name-calling like "tards" and "dorks" and sexual innuendo like "nailing." There are a lot of sexual references and some crude jokes and comments about sex. High-school girls are shown in their underwear. The premise of the movie involves a popular girl dating a nerdy boy for money, and there are some references to prostitution. There are a few scenes where high school age kids drink, with no consequences from authority figures. A main character, a good student, starts to ignore his studies and suffers no consequences. There are few speaking roles for minorities, and a heavy reliance on stereotypes for the plot development (a nerd/ cool kid rivalry). Overall, while the movie attempts to point out the absurdity of high school cliquedom, it's too rooted in the '80s to make that message clear to contemporary audiences. For instance, besides use of terms like "tards," there is a fat-shaming scene in which a large teen girl approaches the lead character and tells him, "You could have had me for $49.95," and a scene when Dempsey tries to sit in the cafeteria at the skate-punk table and they immediately flee, leaving the popular kids to laugh mockingly about how he can't even find acceptance with what they think to be the lowest clique in the entire school. This broader point about bullying and cliques is muddled by dated stereotyping attempting to be comedy.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
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Additional Info

  • Genre:Comedy
  • Release Date:August 14, 1987
  • Highest Available for Purchase:HD

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