And Now For Something Completely Diffe-rant

I know that the general theme of this blog is dinner and the goings on associated with that particular time of the day, but I have to deviate from that theme today to discuss another of my favorite pastimes, movies. Not just movies, but the intricacies of movie watching in a house where the ages range from 7 all the way to my middleagedness.

My wife and I are rather strict when it comes to things we actually have control over. For instance, if a video game is rated mature, then my children of 7 through 13 can't play it. If a movie is rated PG-13, then my 13 year old can watch it, but the other 3 kids can't. It's a tough rule but, as my wife says, the movie industry fights as hard as it can to get a lower rating, so there is a good chance some of the material in a movie may be a little more mature than expected in those PG-13 movies.

Now for the case in point. Last night we rented the movie "The Social Network", which one would think has language issues just because of the whole legal battle theme and what-not. What my wife and I were not prepared for were all of the college scene scenes. The scenes I'm referring to are the college frat house parties with the scantily clad women dancing seductively on the table, the meetings at the strip joint and the half-naked women being used as a serving dish for the cocaine addicts.

For the record my wife and I are not prudes, but we are also not comfortable with having our children learn sex education from a movie. My son saw his first, second and third PG-13 movies on his 13th birthday. It was a marathon of PG-13 movies of epic proportions. He and I watched seven hours of consecutive movies because we made him wait until he was 13 to watch them. He made a list and he chose his favorites from the list for his birthday because he wasn't allowed to watch them before then. The reason he wasn't allowed to watch them is because there are certain things children shouldn't see or hear. There is a group of people, whom after watching the movie last night I must question their sense of propriety, that rate movies so that parents should be able to make an informed decision about what our children watch.

To be blindsided by subject matter that I didn't think I had to include in "the talk" is rather offensive to me and frustrating at the same time. I watched the movie last night and for the life of me I can't understand why those scenes had to be in there. The screen writers could have gotten the point across just as well without them. If they wanted them in there, then play it up, put what you want in there and give it the appropriate adult rating, NC-17 or R.

It would be nice if movie raters, whoever they are, would think about ALL parents, and ALL 13 year olds and what is appropriate for them to watch at thirteen. If parents have to preview every movie before their children can watch them, what do we need movie ratings for?

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