Damsels in Distress (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  26 April 2012 (New Zealand)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 7,224 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 52 user | 149 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A trio of girls set out to change the male-dominated environment of the Seven Oaks college campus, and to rescue their fellow students from depression, grunge and low standards of every kind.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Complainer Student
Nick Blaemire ...
Freak Astaire
Fred Packenstacker / Charlie Walker


Violet and her two cohorts attempt to help their "less-fortunate" students at Seven Oaks College - primarily by running a Suicide Prevention Centre and offering their off-beat advice whenever they get a chance. Violet's newest rescue is transfer student, Lily, and Violet wants to teach her how to talk and dress properly, and how to select appropriate men to be interested in. Along their way in helping everybody at the college, the damsels teach the fraternity doofi to hit the books, they get their hearts broken, but then attempt to start an international dance craze. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For these girls... it's not what you learn, it's whom you educate. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content including some sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 April 2012 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Chicas en conflicto  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$58,589 (USA) (6 April 2012)


$1,007,535 (USA) (17 August 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in 28 days. See more »


Fred Packenstacker: I wasn't just buying drinks for people; they were for cute girls. There was a perfectly rational, logical, easily-explainable agenda.
Violet: [Smiling slightly] So it *was* a playboy or operator move.
Fred Packenstacker: Of course. Transparently so.
Violet: I admire that. Drinks are expensive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The background behind the "Sony Pictures Classics" logo at the beginning is bright pink instead of its normal blue. See more »


References A Damsel in Distress (1937) See more »


The Sambola! International Dance Craze
Performed by Jeff Young and the World Sambola Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A quiet little piece of cinema joy if you let it be!
10 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'DAMSELS IN DISTRESS': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Quirky teen comedy-drama about three college girls who run a Suicide Prevention Centre and offer words of wisdom and advice to troubled new college students while also trying to deal with their own issues. It was written and directed by Whit Stillman (who also helmed the eccentric comedies 'THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO', 'BARCELONA' and 'METROPOLITAN'). It stars Greta Gerwig, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Analeigh Tipton and Adam Brody. The movie is pretty aimless and slow paced but it's also always amusingly strange and whimsical.

The story is set at an East Coast college named Seven Oaks where Violet (Gerwig), Rose (Echikunwoke) and Heather (MacLemore) attend. The college has a mostly male dominated tone, despite becoming coed several years earlier, and the women feel forced in to having to deal with brutish and dimwitted guys all the time. They run a Suicide Prevention Centre and are also constantly trying to recruit freshman girls in to their clique to educate them on the ways of the campus (as well as the world). This year's recruit is Lilly (Tipton). Lilly runs in to man troubles right away and the others try to help her deal with them while also dealing with their own.

The movie has no real direction or strong character objective. It just kind of follows these young girls around as they struggle with adapting to life. It's slow and will bore the hell out of some viewers but others will be quite entranced by it (and others somewhere in between). I found the dialogue to be quite witty and funny and I loved all of the performances. I also really enjoy how quirky and in love with individuality the film seems to be. To me that's a great message to send young viewers (if they actually see the film, it might have missed it's target audience). The movie is a quiet little piece of cinema joy if you let it be.

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