Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It sounds different when you put it that way...

Wrap your kid in cotton batting away from reality:

The website lists every incidence of violence, sex, and drug/alcohol in movies. The link above is for the most recent Harry Potter movie.

I realize that such analyses are likely more informative for parents than just PG or G. Most parents probably object to some things more than others. Still this is pretty silly sounded when sanitized and taken out of context.

The following is a small portion of what's listed for sex in Harry Potter #6
A teenage girl and a teenage boy are shown kissing passionately in a couple of scenes. A teenage boy and a teenage girl share a lingering kiss in a few scenes. A teenage girl, clothed in a robe, and a teenage boy stand very close to one another, they pause as if to kiss but they are interrupted before doing so.

A teenage girl blows a kiss to a teenage boy. A teenage boy and a teenage girl are shown holding hands in a couple of scenes. A teenage girl tells a teenage boy to take her hand and they hold hands.

A teenage boy stares wistfully at a teenage girl. A teenage girl looks longingly at a teenage boy. A teenage girl looks as a teenage boy and winks, flirtatiously. A teenage boy looks at a teenage girl suggestively, waving at her with a longing look in his eyes. A teenage girl sits down on a sofa next to a teenage boy and feeds him a cookie.

A teenage girl asks a teenage boy on a date. A teenage boy asks another teenage boy if he and a teenage girl "did it" -- not intending to inquire about sex, but the implication is there. A teenage boy angrily expresses his displeasure with another teenage boy who had run his hands over his sister.

While I realize that people, including myself, would like to know what's in a movie before letting my child see it - especially if it's something I would expect to be G but is rated PG - this is just over the top in the detail. Why not simply list the most egregious sexual act in the movie?

Teenage boy gives teenage girl a passionate kiss.
Teenage girl gives teenage boy a passionate blowjob
Teenage girl gives teenage boy great sex: penis shown
Teenage boy gives adult woman great sex: vagina shown

Come on ... if there's sex shown, it's a pretty safe bet that passionate kissing is also on-screen, and at that point, it's pretty irrelevant if kids are holding hands. And, strangely enough, it doesn't mention exactly how long any of this is going on. Nor does it mention how the activities are perceived within the context of the story line. Perhaps the passionate kissing scene is derided or ridiculed? (Although, assuming it's the big kissing scene I recall from the book, it probably is accompanied by anger and heartbreak from one of the other characters.) I think the context within the movie is as important as the individual activities.

To put this in perspective, Over the Hedge and The Incredibles are both rated PG, as is Harry Potter #6. I simply cannot imagine how these are on par with each other.

And, for Over the Hedge, IMDb's parental information page (so help me) states: On several occasions, we see Verne's bare turtle butt, but it's nothing explicit (and is played for laughs when his shell is off) -- a turtle's ass with no anus is sexual?? Hey, Marge, get that Barbie the hell away from little Suzie! Don't let her undress it! I think there are buttocks on the doll! Is Toy Story 2 rated PG because Mr. Potato Head is muttering to himself "I'm a married spud! I'm a married spud" after finding himself in a car with Tour Guide Barbie?

Okay, so after writing that I - of course - went to the Kids In Mind website and queried Toy Story 2. Sex rating: 1 of 10 (and, yes, it is possible to get a 0). Reason for this (again, so help me):
A few kisses on the cheek. Some "male" toys admire lots of dancing Barbies in swimsuits.

If movie is rated PG and you can't figure out that a few seconds here and there of heavy-duty kissing might be on screen, then you seriously need to learn what criteria the MPAA uses to assign ratings. Although, I must admit I like the German system (link in English) better, which is like:
no age limit -- 6 and under -- 12 and under -- 16 and under -- 18 and under

Ah, well - back to writing my paper. The Author & I have a date for seeing Public Enemies tomorrow if I've got the paper done.

1 comment:

ccyager said...

Good grief! Talk about being "anal" about film content!

When I was a sophomore in high school, my AP English teacher assigned the class to see "Midnight Cowboy" because it fit right in with the literature we were reading, i.e. best friend/best buddy stories. At that time it was rated X (it's now rated R which is more appropriate) and we had to gain permission from parents in order to go.

My father decided to view it before giving permission. He came home afterwards announcing that he would not let any daughter of his see such a filthy, disgusting movie. So I was one of two kids who didn't see it. Believe me, the class discussion only made me more curious about it. I thought it must be a really, really good movie if my father didn't want me to see it. And I was astonished that a guy, my father, who sexualized EVERYTHING would react that way to a movie.

Anyway, during the first month of my freshman year in college, the film series showed "Midnight Cowboy" and I was first in line to see it. What a disappointment! I had expected at least some porn! But no. My father interpreted the friendship between Ratso and the Cowboy as being homosexual, despite the Cowboy's hustling women, and that's what he objected to (I found out later) and not the actual sexual content or unsavory locations.

So that's my experience with parental review of movies....(smile)