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An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong
An American Girl Chrissa Stands Strong
Actor: Timothy Bottoms
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
G     2009     1hr 30min

Meet Chrissa Maxwell. She and her family have just moved, and she has to start at a new school mid-year. Will she fit in? Can she find new friends? On her very first day, Chrissa is seated with three girls who greet her wi...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actor: Timothy Bottoms
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Drama, Family Films
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/06/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Mary-Jo W. (mjowest) from SHELBYVILLE, MI
Reviewed on 8/29/2009...
What a great movie! Chrissa is in fourth grade, and must start a new school.
She tries what her grandma told her- friendship starts with Hello. But the three meanest, rudest girls are constantly cutting her down and laughing at her.

I watched this with my ten year old daughter, and while we were fighting tears one minute, we were also chuckling when it showed what Chrissa really wanted to do to these girls.

Very realistic, honest story line, although it has a predictable, sappy ending.

A MUST SEE for all pre-teen girls and their mothers! This movie will start conversations.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

WOW This is a film for all to see.
Queen Robinhood | New York | 01/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Last night on HBO I watched the premiere of this American Girl movie. I enjoyed the Kit movie from last year, they are really on a roll now I have to say!! This movie is a MUST see for students from 3rd or 4th grade and up. The movie is about a 5th grade girl who is new to a school and is soon bullied by a click of 3 girls, one in particular named Tara. This is not a sugar coated movie and you see Chrissa's situation go from bad to worse as she struggles to handle it by herself.

I figured this movie would be like every other typical Disney-style movie where Chrissa will eventually get revenge on the "bad guy", you know with some plot where say she makes some elaborate contraption which will embarrass the heck out of Tara and spill green paint on her or whatever and everyone will laugh at Tara and Chrissa will be the hero. That is NOT how this story goes at all, and I am very impressed American Girl (who is in the DOLL business) did not fantasy candy-coat the story. Rather, as you will see, it is shown with much more realism and makes you think about what you would do if you were in Chrissa's (or her parents') situation.

I actually have someone who has been bullying my 10 year old daughter over the past few months and ironically I got a few pointers from this movie last night, it made me think a little different about how to approach the situation. It also reinforced some of my beliefs on what makes someone a bully as well as providing some tips on ways to keep Chrissa staying strong.

Like other viewers, I bet you will be curious to see what bully Tara's parents look like - in every other movie (e.g. Camp Rock) the snobby/mean girl's mother is usually some self-centered witch who is nasty with her daughter and thus the chain continues....in this movie, you never get to see her parents. I think that is a good thing because it really let me focus on the rest of the story. I am seriously considering buying a copy for my local school and/or library to donate it, it was that good. The acting was fantastic and Chrissa is absolutely charming, I would love to have a friend like her for myself or my daughter!"
Attention Moms! Must See for any little girl & her parents!
Mommyrh1 | Buffalo, NY | 01/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Absolutely a wonderful movie. If you have a school age child, any age, you must see this movie. It perfectly portrays the dangers & emotions of school bullies. Great to open a dialogue with your child after watching this movie. Wonderfully written, easy for children to understand at any age. Cannot say enough good things about this great American Girl movie. This should be required viewing in school!!!!!"
Homeschooler's perspective
T. Tillson | 09/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"After reading the reviews by homeschooling mothers, I was pretty leary about this movie but I bought it anyway, and was happily surprised. As I figured, the reviewers I read had taken some comments out of context, or had simply misunderstood. The movie does not portray homeschooling negatively at all. Chrissa considers hs-ing so she doesn't have to face the constant bullying in her classroom. She wants to escape it. But others let her know that's no way to deal with the awful situation she finds herself in - escape doesn't solve any problems. And in fact, as her friends point out, by staying away from school she could find herself falling further behind in her work and letting the bullies win. Yes, her father does say, "I'll bet if you're homeschooled, you can't be on the swim team." And Chrissa replies, "Bet you can, too!" They shake hands as a friendly wager but you don't find out who is right because, of course, Chrissa stays in school. (As a trivial bit of info, some states have laws that allow homeschooled students to participate in public school sports. Some don't.) So, enough about the homeschooling aspect of the movie.

The acting is very true to life and the little girl who plays the lead has a great career ahead of her. Strong supporting adult cast, good cinematography, and an interesting plot keep the movie appealing. The way the parents dealt with Chrissa's problem, a little too late in the game, in my opinion, was very realistic. Or at least, they dealt with it the way it should be dealt with.

I think most kids would benefit from watching this movie and seeing how other kids have handled bullying. It was a relief to know that the script tried to portray how a real kid would feel ("I don't want to be a tattletale!"), and as other reviewers have mentioned, there was no pat resolution, no revenge scene, no concrete answer as to whether Chrissa and Tara became friends. In other words, it was a true-to-life story.

Amazing, though, how many reviewers have said that kids actually bullied like the little girls in the movie at such a young age. How awful."