Navigating The Rating

Back in the day, there were only 4 maybe 5 different kinds of movie ratings. G (general, for everyone), PG (Parental guidance, almost everyone), Mature (you had to be at least 16 or was it 14), R (you had to be 18 and there was usually nudity or extreme violence) at least that is how it went in Canada.

Now it goes something like this.I think they are missing PG-13 or is that American. Also here in Canada some movies that are rated R in the states are rated significantly lower. I guess thats what we get for having a more liberal society. Politics aside its all confusing.

Then you get into the warnings… talk about adding another layer of vagueness. My middle Tweedle went to a birthday party about a week ago and saw the movie Mama Mia. I didn’t think much about it because I hadn’t seen it yet and the score was all ABBA. What is there to worry about? Later that night when my husband and I were at the video store I grabbed the back of the movie and saw PG (Parental Guidance) with nudity and theme warnings. Needless to say I was a little disappointed that he had seen the movie and phoned one of my sisters right away, who I knew had already seen the movie. She assured me that there wasn’t any gratuitous sex scenes, but was alarmed herself that the movie was shown at a 7 year olds birthday party. With themes about marriage, shacking up, homosexuality, and a a daughter trying to find out which of three men her mother had affairs with was her father, she found that highly inappropriate for seven year olds. It doesn’t matter how good the soundtrack is. Heres hoping my little Tweedle’s “ADHD” kicked in and he wasn’t interested.

That night after the kids went to bed Mr. Wonderful and I settled in to watch our own movie. “The Bank Job” rated 14A (kids 14 and older can see) with a warning for violence, language, and sexual content. We thought it would be might ok because at least there wasn’t a warning for nudity. The movie opens right away with the sexual content and doesn’t get any better from there. I attributed that to the English (European) sense of entertainment. I was wrong.

Friday we rented the movie Crossing Over. The movie has been raved about all over the radio. It stars Harrison Ford. I like him so I was looking forward too it. We had to turn it off. This movie was also rated 14A. In the 30-45 min that we saw of it, It had Gangsters, sexual acts, nudity and according to kids in mind we didn’t get to the meat of it. None of this was on the warnings. I was chatting with Mr. Wonderful after, we came to the conclusion that we weren’t the target audience. This movie (except for some heavy immigration themes) was visually targeted for the teenage boy and meant to fill his head full of garbage. Too bad, I would have liked to explore some of those themes.

I’m not out to get these movies I’m just expressing the frustration with the vagueness of the rating system and wondering why these institutions/ organizations think these movies are appropriate for 14 and older. I’m not even old enough to see some of the stuff I saw. I also hate wasting my money.

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