It happened again. We were watching what I thought was an innocuous, PG-13 rated film when, within the first ten minutes, out popped the bare breasts and naked butts in action. I have nothing against the unclad and au natural…except when my children are watching the movie with me. Granted, they’re teens and practically all grown-up, but it’s uncomfortable, to say the least, for such conspicuous rompings to be viewed with the eyes of one’s offspring glued to the tube.
Early on, I researched movies before taking my children to the theater; however, sometimes it wasn’t the film itself that was objectionable, but the trailers. We once went to see a PG rated movie with a trailer that generously served up the word “sex.” I don’t mean one or two or ten times. I mean at least seventeen times in less than two minutes. This conflicted with my outdated notion that I should be the one to decide when to explain the birds and the bees to my kids.
In my “Mommy is God,” years, my hand acted as a shield over the innocent gaze of my children during unwelcome scenes. They’d patiently and trustingly await its removal. As they got older and intolerant of my handy screen, I switched tactics. I’d create a diversion by suddenly hurling myself off the chair during what should have been an R rated film scene or by feigning a heart attack. But they don’t fall for my old tricks anymore.
Last night, my older son suggested a movie. This one had to be turned off after only three minutes of head beatings, graphic stabbings and other hideous, all too realistic violence. We would have been better off locating the nearest gutter and pulling up a few chairs.
It’s becoming more and more challenging to find a film that has not been made by and/or for stupers (short, yet again, for remorselessly stupid persons). I’m convinced that today’s filmmakers are firm believers in the stupidity of the masses.
I don’t expect a flawless movie; I just want to watch a film, particularly with my kids, that required some thought to create. An intelligent film that’s compassionate, funny, encouraging, tender, cheerful, brave or at the very least interesting. Not depraved and idiotic. I can watch plenty of this latter stuff on the evening news, if I so choose.
What’s a parent to do about the rampant stupidity running amok in much of today’s movie fare?
- Make your own movies;
- Become fast friends with a movie mogul;
- Carefully screen films yourself or through a reputable site (kids-in-mind.com or dove.org); or
- Treat your children to classic films. Actors actually spoke in complete sentences back then, dressed well and had extraordinary manners by today’s standards. Anything starring any of the Hollywood legends from Gable to Poitier.
It can be frustrating trying to find a worthwhile movie to watch. They’re out there. But there’s also a ton of rubbish. Be choosy about what you subject your mind to and the minds of your children. Imagine what this world would be like if everyone actually exercised careful thought.
Think first, last and always.