Dontcha just love the MPAA? The movie rating organization is famously mysterious. A group of anonymous people in Beverly Hills go to a dark room, watch a movie, and then they pronounce - like an oracle - the rating the film will carry. There are no published standards, no transparent criteria, and oh, did we mention that the motion picture association is supported by the very people whose films they are rating?
But every once in a good while, the veil lifts and we get a sneak peak at the inner workings of this pretty powerful group. Like yesterday, when head of the ratings organization, Joan Graves, offered the opinion that it's perfectly fine to market PG-13 movies to young kids. Great idea, Joan. So good, we thought we'd help you out. Here are a few of the most recent PG-13 ratings and why we think young kids will like them:
House Bunny: Who doesn't like rabbits? Oh, you mean bimbo playboy bunny types who are supposedly role models for young girls?
Vicky Christina Barcelona: This is brought to you by the number 3! As in threesomes are a really great way to introduce sex to young kids. Especially when alcohol consumption is blamed for one great night of passion.
Okay, that was a cheap shot, kids don't care about Woody Allen (although my 14-year-old son did buy a ticket for this movie so he could then sneak into the R-rated Hamlet 2). But what about the new Mummy movie or The Dark Night? I don't know about Ms. Graves, but I did my time quieting kids with nightmares. And in the Mummy movie, faces melt, a man is about to be quartered, there are several shots of near decapitations, limbs are dismembered, bodies are stabbed and shot, huge Yetis appear as scary CGI panther-like creatures and there are hordes of skeletal warriors (a la Pirates of the Caribbean). And The Dark Knight? Even my teen son turned to me and said, "This is NOT for kids!"
We believe that parents are ultimately responsible for making sure they pick movies that are right for their kids - hey, that's why Common Sense Media exists. And we absolutely love movies. We just think there are right movies for right ages. And marketing mature movies to kids is irresponsible, plain and simple.