Whoever it's aimed at, the film is more focused on lamenting American culture than correcting it. Affluenza is set in 2008 on the cusp of the financial collapse, and is filled with musings about the hypocrisy of government bailouts. Which is OK, because neither Fisher nor anyone else here is very engaged — he and his cousin, Kate (Nicola Peltz), waltz out to parties, listen to hip music and smoke weed by a pool that, as Fisher's aunt (Samantha Mathis) is quick to point out, nobody actually swims in. They're not the most sympathetic kids but, as the title indicates, they're more frequently guilty of apathy than actual bad behavior.
A similar mode of indifference must be adopted to enjoy the film, which comes off like a slightly more realistic (read: less exciting) version of Gossip Girl, a comparison encouraged by Rosenfield's Penn Badgley-esque jawline. There's a mawkish third act full of grave consequences, but ultimately, the film is dragged down by its awkwardly paradoxical story, which tries too hard to care too little.