So, lately I’ve been struggling to find a balance relating to movies. There are so many movies that I remember from my childhood. They made huge impressions on me and I loved them. Some of them were appropriately rated for me… some most likely were not. So, deciding what to introduce to the Beans has brought new challenges. In part, my kids are not like I was. I was raised on Star Wars. The first one came out when I was about 6 and I loved it. I didn’t feel scary parts of such movies were too intense and they didn’t give me bad dreams. At least two of the Beans feel the build-up parts very intensely. So, balancing age-appropriate movies has been a bit of a challenge. This is especially true when some of their friends watch movies about which I’m fairly skeptical.
As I was wandering down the pass-through clicks on an interesting article I read about the Chicago Teens who ran off to join ISIS (which opened up a very good conversation with ButterBean about internet usage and self-esteem), I saw a link to the influence that The Breakfast Club had on filmmakers and screen writers. I was reading this and felt compelled to go out and check the rating of the movie. After all, I remember the impact it had on me. The movie came out when I was 14 and I don’t remember that I had to wait to see it. But again, I was a different child. ButterBean has been a bit reluctant to give up cartoon movies and join the world populated by real people. She’s seen a few, but they haven’t been plentiful. But it got me thinking about ratings. Of the movies that hang in my mind as much-loved movies, TBC (R) is joined by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13), Pretty in Pink (PG-13), Sixteen Candles (R), and the like. I don’t distinguish much between them in my mind, although there is a rating mix there.
A couple of days ago JujuBean had a friend over. They wanted to watch a movie, so I reached down into days gone by and found Jumanji (PG). This movie with its pulled into a real-life game fantasy is a fun, action-packed adventure. I didn’t invite either JuniorBean or ButterBean because both would likely find the movie too scary. JuniorBean came in at the final climax and JujuBean (also recognizing he wouldn’t enjoy it) sent him out of the room. I didn’t actually think about whether it was an appropriate rating (whew!). Both girls are mature and the friend has seen most movies before. I was struggling to find a new one ;).
But it has me thinking about whether, if rated today, these movies would still be given the ratings they once were. When I look at songs, things that would never have mad it in the past due to inappropriate language play regularly on radio stations across America. I realize it each summer when we arrive and find ourselves singing along to the unscrubbed versions of songs, so used to clean versions we have grown. And I think about what movies I have introduced my children to and which ones I will introduce them to next… I’d love thoughts of anyone out there.