I enjoyed it immensely but I’m a senior citizen without children to worry about. Because it does seem to normalize sixteen year old girls dating men in their thirties I’d be reluctant to permit young teens to see it without a great deal of discussion, including of Lynn’s magazine article relating the long term damage, not mentioned in the film, done to her. Fortunately, she went on to enjoy a long successful marriage and career as a journalist.
Perhaps it wasn’t illegal but her parents were negligent; falling for the con was inexcusable. Her father was a lawyer, proving intelligent people sometimes make stupid choices. She still resents her parents’ poor judgment and feels the affair influenced her promiscuity while in college.
The tone is sometimes humorous and Carrie Mulligan plays the precocious and engaging teen, hungering for sophistication, to a T. Rosamond Pike is hilarious while the English teacher is the only adult in the room.
To clarify, pedophilia is the attraction to prepubescent children. Most sixteen (seventeen before they had sex) year old girls have reached puberty while reaching the age of consent is a different issue. The film does not portray pedophilia. I believe the laws making it a greater crime when there is a larger age discrepancy between the willing victim and perpetrator.
Some reviewers questioned why David is portrayed as Jewish, making the film anti-Semitic. The answer is, because he actually was. His religion could have been omitted but, to me anyway, those were satirical scenes depicting the bigoted world views of the father and headmistress. Humor was the intention and the father was portrayed as a buffoon through the film.
I do understand the negative reviews but I thought it was an excellent, if controversial, movie.