Last night I watched the rush hour showing of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind at the Guam Megaplex. It was pretty good, plenty odd and damn funny in spots, but it is not a kid’s movie. Once again I was flabbergasted by some people. This couple sat down for the movie and brought along a small child about 5 years old. I don’t mind kids in movies, but I am worried about the effect watching a movie filled with murder, sex and drug use has on small impressionable minds. I know I wouldn’t let a little kid go to such a movie. When I was a little squirt of ten or eleven back in the mid 70’s, it took an act of God for my parents to take me too a PG movie. I can remember bothering my mother for weeks before she agreed to let me see that shockingly lurid film, Star Wars. Never mind Jaws, it was totally verboten and so were all the Pink Panther movies. No point in even asking to see those movies, she’d never allow it. That seems so long ago now.
A few years ago I went to see Something about Mary and ran into a friend and his nephew, a boy of about 8 or 9 at the time. I’ve known this kid since he was 4 and I felt pretty uncomfortable when he leaned over and asked me what Ben Stiller was doing before his big date with Cameron Diaz, “Uncle Tom, what’s he doing? Is he masturbating?” Uhh, I can positively say that word did not exist in my vocabulary when I was eight. Now this is a great kid and I don’t think he was permanently warped by this movie, but I find this disturbing. Pundits and social commentators would probably mark this as just another example of our crumbling value system. Perhaps they’re right.