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'Monte Carlo' fun for tweens

"Monte Carlo" (PG): The clothes, shoes and bags are to die for and Paris and Monte Carlo seem great. But what tween girls will delight in here is the friendship, the outfits, the fancy people and the handsome young men in this travel-can-be-broadening tale. Selena Gomez of TV's "Wizards of Waverly Place" plays Grace, a new high-school grad from Texas who has been waiting tables to save for a dream trip to Paris. Her mom (Andie MacDowell) and her soon-to-be stepdad (Brett Cullen) insist that along with her waitress pal Emma (Katie Cassidy), she travel with her older, soon-to-be half-sister Meg (Leighton Meester of TV's "Gossip Girl"). But Meg is sad and angry, still grieving for her late mother. Grace and Emma think she's a pill. The unlikely trio lands in Paris, but their cheapo tour is no fun. Emma and Meg see a snarky British celebutante named Cordelia (also Gomez), who is the dead spit of Grace. After the hotel staff mistake Grace for Cordelia, who has temporarily run off, the girls take a chance, and Grace impersonates Cordelia. They head to Cordelia's Monte Carlo charity event with all of her gowns and jewels. There's a lot of plot here, but basically it's just Gomez, Meester and Cassidy bonding and meeting cute, respectful guys and having a big adventure, plus Emma's discovery that the Texas boyfriend (Cory Monteith of "Glee") she left behind is as good as any French prince.

The dialogue is sanitized. The only hint of sexual heat and an unmarried tryst is between Meg and the nice Australian guy she meets, Riley (Luke Bracey).


"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (PG-13): The endless 3-D, computer-generated battles that weigh down the last third of this movie may be the thing that thrills teen audiences -- and the film is fine for them. But what makes "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" fun for history-loving teens and adults is its clever opening premise, its particularly strong overall cast, and its truly witty script -- until words fail and the boring battles rage.

The PG-13 rating mostly reflects the film's violence, which involves 3-D special effects battles between Transformers and human weaponry. Few if any bloody wounds are depicted. The script uses mid-range profanity, semi-crude sexual innuendo, and rare use of the F-word.


"Larry Crowne" (PG-13): Tom Hanks co-wrote, directed and also plays the title role in this feel-good comedy about a nice guy going through tough times. With a strong cast and much good humor, the movie's take on the difficulties grown-ups face will appeal more to older teens and adults. Recently divorced, broke and now unemployed, Larry enrolls in community college. His public speaking class is taught by the glum Mercedes (Julia Roberts, with a nice, bitter edge), who comes in each day hung over because she drinks to avoid facing her unhappy marriage to a do-nothing, Internet-porn-watching husband (Bryan Cranston).

This is a very gentle PG-13. The implication that Mercedes' husband watches porn is indicated mildly, with several shots of busty, bikini-clad models on his computer screen. We see Larry in his underwear as he's trying on clothes. The dialogue contains some mid-range profanity and crude language.