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School Daze

School Daze
School Daze
School Daze
  • R
  • 2h 0m
  • 1988
Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
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Innovative filmmaker, Spike Lee (She's Gotta Have It), brings to the screen a music-filled, offbeat contemporary comedy that takes an unforgettable look at black college life. Amidst gala coronations, football, fraternities, parades and parties, the stars of the film-Laurence Fishburne ("Dap" Dunlap), an intense student who encourages his buddies ("DaFellas") to fight for his beliefs; Giancarlo Esposito (Julian "Big Brother Almighty" Eaves), out to strengthen the Greek system with his Gamma PhiGamma fraternity brothers; Spike Lee ("Half-Pint"), driven to become a "Gamma man"; and Tisha Campbell (Jane Toussaint), leader of the sorority, "Gamma Rays," find themselves caught up in romance and relationships/rituals and rivalries during one outrageous homecoming weekend. With dynamic music, including EU's hit "Da Butt", and dance numbers choreographed by Otis Sallid (Fame), Lee successfully challenges viewpoints about self-identity and self-esteem in this original, contemporary musical comedy.
© 1988 Columbia Pictures Industries , Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: School Daze is undeniably messy, but thought-provoking themes, strong performances, and Spike Lee's ingratiating energy help tie it all together.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
Common Sense Says
Troubling, dated dramedy has violence, strong language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that School Daze is a Spike Lee dramedy with a few musical numbers set at a fictional, historically all-Black college campus. Controversial issues are raised about racism, racial injustice, and academic and social hierarchies and disparities. There's a very problematic storyline in which a young woman is manipulated into having unwanted sex. A man is seen fully nude from the side and in the dark. A few scenes show kissing with tongue and simulated sex. One scene shows a lot of licking on the chest and the top of the head. Some gender roles are outdated, and the focus of the main activist character is for the college to divest from South Africa, which still enforced apartheid when the movie was made. Lots of strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and more. There's also a lot of racist name-calling, including the "N" word," "jigaboo," "pickaninny," and "tar baby." Pledging a fraternity involves lots of hazing, bullying, and verbal abuse, and it's frequently played for comedy. There's very little alcohol use, some brief background smoking, and an ironic reference to smoking crack.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama, Comedy
  • Release Date:February 12, 1988
  • Languages:English, Spanish
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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