Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rated I for incompetent

Once you hit age 18, you stop caring what movies are rated. I mean, as a teen, it's kind of cool to sneak into an R rated film, but after you're allowed in, it just loses it's luster. But those movie rating will become important again.

With two daughters in the house, I try to keep an eye on the movie ratings to make sure they're not seeing anything too inappropriate. But unless we want to watch a Disney marathon, it's nearly impossible.

Take, for example, this recent experience; my wife got a couple movies from our local library, which actually has a pretty good selection. Anyway, one of the movies was "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." It was rated PG-13. The second was an R-rated flick that I cannot recall.

Which one do we watch with the kids? The R-rated one, of course.

At least, we should have watched the R-rated one with the kids. Cause it was - in my opinion - much more "family friendly" than the PG-13 movie. "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" was filled with sexual innuendo and even a couple sex scenes - albeit, no skin was shown, it was pretty obvious what was going on. The other movie was rated R for swearing. I'm not kidding. There was no graphic violence. No sex. Just a lot of F-bombs.

I might not drop F-bombs around my kids, but I know they've heard the word before. I'd much rather they hear someone swear ... than watch someone screw.

So how did one get a PG-13 rating and the other an R? The Motion Picture Association of America. They have certain guidelines for what constitutes what. The "hard swearing" got that second movie an R rating. The explanation for PG-13 is so confusing, I'd swear this was a government operation. But it's done by a "ratings board" which works for the MPAA.

Here's an interesting tidbit I found out. Movies are not required to go to the ratings board. They don't have to be rated. Or they can rate themselves ... as long as it is not "confusingly similar to the G, PG, PG-13, R, and, NC-17." Apparently, those rating are trademarked or something. But if they wanted to rate their movie "I for incompetent," they could do that.

But as I've previously determined the rating isn't so important as the content. Often times a movie will say "Rated PG-13 for sexual content" or something like that. But is that someone copping a feel? Or hard core nookie?

I heard about another movie rating system that sounds ... almost logical. It's called "Kids-in-Mind" movie ratings. They rate movies on three factors; sex, gore, and vulgarity. The give each factor a rating of 1 to 10. The higher the rating, the more of that there is in the movie. Plus, they actually list each instance.

"My Super Ex-Girlfriend," for example, has a rating of 7.6.4. Lots of sex. A moderate amount of gore. And not too much swearing. Exactly the opposite of what I think is appropriate for my kids. Had I known about this rating system, they never would have watched that movie.

They would have watched that other movie. The one I can't think of. And they would have forgotten it by now, too. I just hope they forgot the one they DID see.