Matt Damon Told My Kids There Is No Easter Bunny
There are a lot of traditions at the HB household. One of those time honored traditions is the Christmas Eve movie outing with Daddy and the kids. Every Christmas Eve I take my four wonderful and innocent young children to the movies allowing my Beautiful wife time to "reflect" on the Spirit of Christmas, and perhaps catch up on some last minute Christmas details.
Before I get deeper into this story I would like to state that my wife and I are firm believers in the MPAA rating system. Although mostly skewed and lacking basis for their rating decision, it is a good reference point when looking for a movie for your children. You can rest assured, however, that if the movie got a PG-13 instead of a PG, someone at the MPAA was going down kicking and screaming. It only stands to reason that if you lower the rating, you are making the movie available to that many more people.
Another, and in my opinion better, reference point for movie selection is Common Sense Media , an organization that gives the real lowdown on the appropriateness of movies, Television shows, Music and more. Unfortunately, I neglected to review the Common Sense Media recommendations before selecting this year's Christmas Eve selection.
Back to our story:
The kiddies and I went to see the movie "We Bought A Zoo" starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. It's a story about a widower (Damon) and his two children buying a zoo, fixing it up to pass inspection and attempting to reopen the rundown zoo, enlisting the help of the head zookeeper (Johansson) and her crew. I'm thinking PG, Matt Damon, whom I've heard is a true family man, and zoo; what could be bad about that?
Well here it is folks, the bad about that. In my opinion, if your main character (Damon) is going to boldly announce that there is no Easter Bunny, you may want to consider a PG – 13 rating. Also in my opinion, there were plenty enough curse words in the movie outside of the usual "damn" and "hell" that sneak into PG movies to warrant a PG-13. A PG rating means that a child of any age can get in to see the movie with parental guidance. What it doesn't mean is that parents have an opportunity to preview the movie before taking their kids to the theater in order to make an informed decision.
Don't get me wrong here. My issue is not with Matt Damon, nor is it with the writers of the film. My issue is with the MPAA and the criteria they employ when rating movies. I question the common sense of the folks rating the movies when it comes to young children. I am fairly certain that a parent of a child of such an age that they would not question the validity of the Easter Bunny, would not take their young child to a movie that would blatantly announce it. So, assuming that there surely must be someone at the MPAA rating these movies AND the parent of a young child that age, why would this not be cause to bump the rating to a PG-13? Or how about some sort of warning that the movie you are about to see is going to destroy your young ones beliefs and cause you to do some pretty fancy damage control.
So friends, if you have not seen the movie "We Bought A Zoo", consider this fair warning:
The movie you are about to see is going to destroy your young ones beliefs and cause you to do some pretty fancy damage control.