This weekend, we watched Surf's Up, a cute movie about a penguin who only wants to be a surfer. What really made it cute was that it was done like a documentary. It was really what sold the movie, as far as I was concerned.
There is one complaint I have, though. This movie was rated PG for "mild language and some rude humor."
The mild language was completely gratuitous, too. "Sucks" could have easily been "stunk", "crap" could have easily been "garbage" or "junk", and - the coup de gras - "pecker face" (I kid you not!!) could have been just about ANYTHING else!
Earth to Hollywood:
Normal parents don't want their children exposed to language like that. Normal parents don't allow their kids to use "sucks" and "crap", and they certainly don't let them call people "pecker face"!!!
And the rude humor (farts, belches, peeing on the sea urchin sting) is not necessary, either. Yeah, I know kids laugh, but why appeal to the most base humor all the time? Is it possible to make a movie without these kinds of jokes for once? They used to make movies like that, you know. There was not one farting joke in Singin' in the Rain, and yet it's one of my children's favorite movies. There wasn't a single belch in Pollyanna, but my girls thought that was a great movie. In The Music Man (the original), there wasn't a single curse word. But my girls danced around singing "A Hundred and One Trombones" for days after we watched it.
It's not difficult to figure out what we want, if anyone in Hollywood would bother to pay attention. We want something wholesome, without the cursing, without the innuendos (yes, Surf's Up had those, too), without the bathroom humor. We want a good story (not another re-hash of Cinderella, please). We want something that, for once, we don't have to glance at each other over the children's heads and make the What Was That?? face at each other. There are two studios that we feel that we can trust: Pixar and Walden Media.
Overall, movies are going the way television has gone: offering little to nothing for families. Last week, we were a "Neilson Family", and I had the opportunity to write comments in the back of our nearly-empty diaries. I basically said that there is nothing for families anymore. I can't turn on the TV in front of the children during the evenings - even the "family hour" - for fear of them seeing or hearing something that will be seared into their impressionable minds. Even when watching sports, we have to turn off commercials - even at 2 in the afternoon - because they are for frightening shows, R-rated movies, "M" for Mature video games, and worse. Heck, we couldn't even watch the actual pre-game show for the Super Bowl because Jimmy Kimmel had some vile and immoral garbage on. (I think it might have been his review of the parties for the Super Bowl, including the Playboy party and the Victoria's Secret party.) (Oh, and can someone tell me why Kimmel even has a show? Talk about a lack of talent!)
Even kids' channels are filled with awful programming. Disrespect, rudeness, bathroom humor, and the like are the regular fare for most shows on Disney and Nickelodian. I can't (or, rather, won't) let the girls watch much of anything on either channel - SpongeBob and Kim Possible are about it.
Even though, overall, I liked the movie, it would have been better without the inappropriate elements. So, listen up, Hollywood. Stop striving for the PG rating for families, and start striving for G.