Three pre-teen boys decide they want to see a naked woman, and actually save money to hire a hooker for that purpose (apparently, they think that's all they do). They go from the suburbs to the city by themselves and meet one named V (Griffith), who accepts the deal. After the exchange, the children's bikes are stolen, forcing V to give them a ride home.
V's car breaks down in front of the home of the last boy, Frank (Carter), and he tells his widowed father (Harris) that she is a math tutor. He helps fix her car, but then she finds out that her pimp has been murdered—by a mob boss (McDowell) from whom he had stolen money. Fearing for her life (the mob is still looking for the money), V asks the kids to hide her, which they do—in their treehouse.
There is also a subplot about Frank's father being obsessed with saving a wetland.
This movie provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The plot point about Frank failing Sex Ed is dropped once he gives his report.
- Adults Are Useless: The teacher never actually is seen disciplining the boys for displaying V to the whole class and locking herself out in the process; nor do any of the adults or Frank's dad do much to intervene, let alone recognize the boys' lewd crusade.
- Alliterative Title
- Comically Missing the Point: This conversation between Tom and his son. Frank is showing his father a survey in a magazine.Frank Wheeler: She scores a 98 out of a possible 100, losing one point because she's a total stranger, and the other because your entire relationship is based on a lie.
Tom Wheeler: You only lose one point for that!?
- Cringe Comedy: The movie is filled with this. Of particular note is this bit of dialogue:Tom Wheeler: Ya think you can fit him in?V: At his age?Tom Wheeler: I'm afraid if he doesn't learn it now he's never going too.
- Dirty Kid: Our protagonists. Three pre-teen boys who pool their money to hire a hooker (just to see her naked, sure, but let's be reasonable...).
- Dumb Blonde: V. She's blonde, and she makes some stupid decisions. Aside from meeting one of the boys' fathers and pointing out he's a past client of hers right in front of his wife, and sneaking into a school with Frank for his Sex Ed class, she also thinks that all men listen better when they're not wearing pants.
- Easily Forgiven: The mob boss just lets V go.
- Also, the kids after the whole thing is revealed.
- Evil Brit: Waltzer. He's British, and he's a mob boss.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Thoroughly broken by the very premise.
- Green Aesop: Because saving a swamp has something to do with zany prostitute misadventures, right?
- Harmful to Minors: When V shows her breasts, Frank covers his own eyes.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: V. She might be a hooker, but she is so nice to just about everyone, you could almost believe her story about being a math tutor.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: An especially egregious offense, since the kids haven't even hit puberty.
- Karma Houdini: The three boys. Frank even breaks a number of school codes and laws in a single scene and receives no punishment, even though his teacher witnessed the whole thing. Though that may have been just a daydream of Frank's. However, see Zany Scheme.
- Meaningful Name: Kevin Clean. May also count as an Unfortunate Name.
- Missing Mom: Frank's mother died before he was bo— Er... just after he was born.
- No Social Skills: V isn't very discreet when meeting one of the boys' fathers and pointing out he's a past client of hers right in front of his wife.
- The boys see nothing wrong with outright asking a lady who they suspect is a prostitute if she is one.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: V with sunglasses is unrecognizable.
- Refuge in Audacity: Taken to the extreme seeing how three boys are able to travel to the city alone unsupervised in the hopes of meeting a prostitute, with one showing off said prostitute to his classmates in his sex ed class; none of them receive punishment for any of these offenses.
- Saving the Orphanage: The subplot about saving the town's wetlands from development.
- Tin Can You Hear Me Now: As Ebert himself pointed out in his written review, this bit makes little sense given how kids have cell phones these days (although cell phones were not really commonplace back when the film first came out).
- Toilet Humor: The film begins with the line, "You ever fart and sneeze at the same time?"
- The Unreveal: No, we don't get to see Melanie Griffith's boobs (but two of the boys do).
- Wise Beyond Their Years: While the boys are unrealistically stupid, the girls are able to tell V is a prostitute just by looking at her.
- Zany Scheme: While the kids might be excused because of their ignorance, and the whole thing being a comedy, when V asks Frank's dad to take his pants off before she will explain things, what little common sense the film had flew away.