July 16, 2012

I Can't Trust Movie Ratings

It's a rare treat for us to go to the movies as a family. A matinee will cost us at least $30, which is a splurge we don't often indulge in. Instead, we wait for family movies to come out on DVD and have movie night at home. Unfortunately, it seems if the movie isn't animated or rated G, then it may not be a true "family movie."
My daughters now have the attention span to enjoy live action movies. A few months ago I rented We Bought a Zoo, thinking it would be a fun movie night flick. It was definitely a cute movie, but I almost turned it off mid-movie. The movie is rated PG. I expected a few questionable moments. I counted several uses of "sh*t" and Matt Damon's character even calls one of the animals an "a-hole," except he says the actual word. We happened to be watching the movie the weekend of Easter. Matt Damon and his older son have a conversation about how they live in a house with a young girl who still believes in the Easter Bunny. Oh brother. Fortunately, my daughters somehow didn't hear that part.
The other night Hubby and I were watching a movie (without our daughters) that was rated PG. One of the characters said "a-hole." When exactly did that become a PG word?
I say bad words, but not in front of my children. I fully expect them to hear these words and some day use these words (and then we'll have to talk about whether it's appropriate, etc., etc.). However, when I watch a PG movie, I don't expect to hear such extreme swear words, especially if the screen where they tell you why the movie is rated PG only says "mild violence." Yes, I understand PG means "Parental Guidance," but if the material is that unsuitable for someone under, oh say 13, shouldn't the movie be rated PG 13?! I'm starting to think I need to pre-screen our movie night movies to make sure they're truly PG.


MaryAnne K said...

I can definitely identify with your frustration. From what I can tell, the main difference between PG and PG-13 is that PG-13 is more likely to have romance scenes and violence?

Quadmama said...

I looked up the definitions after I read this post. PG can't have any drug use/references while PG 13 can. That seemed to be the biggest difference to me.

Writer Lady said...

By the time your girls hit school age they are probably already hearing these words from other kids. You will probably need to teach them that there are ugly words and nice words and how to tell the difference.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

We're not big "movie" people, but I think about this so often when Hubby and I watch TV after the girls are in bed. I remember growing up, watching shows like Cosby, Growing Pains, and Family Ties with my parents. I know those shows came on at 7:00 or so, before my bedtime.

Hubby and I DVR Big Bang Theory, which comes on at 7:00. I CANNOT imagine watching such a show with my girls for a LONG time! We love it, but it's certainly not what I would consider "family" entertainment.

Are those days just gone???

Alyssa said...

It seems that movie ratings have changed over the years in a bad way. For example, Speed is rated R. If that movie came out this year instead of when it did, I bet it would be PG13... This means movies suited for kids are worse than they used to be which is really sad. If I ever have children, there is very little I would allow them to watch.

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