parents

"F*#k me, that’s not a kids’ movie."

Kate Hunter

by KATE HUNTER

I went to see the movie ‘Ted’ on Saturday night.

Directed by Seth McFarlane (creator of Family Guy) Ted is about a foul-mouthed teddy bear who hangs out with hookers and takes issue when his ‘weed guy’ sells him inferior dope. Ted’s best mate is John (Mark Wahlberg) a thirty-something nice guy who’s struggling to grow up, mainly because Ted wants to hang out on the sofa with him and a bong. John’s girlfriend has a problem with this and says Ted has to move out. It’s bloody funny and I laughed my head off. Until I saw a woman in the row in front of me with a little girl who looked about five, or six, tops.

Then I became uptight.

I told myself, ‘Silly woman, she thought it was a movie about teddies.’

I was relieved when they got up and left.

Then they returned. It was just a loo break. Back in their seats just in time to hear about Ted fucking a co-worker with a parsnip, then selling it.

I’m not shocked about the parsnip. Each Teddy to their own.

But to take a little kid to a movie rated MA15+ is shocking. And dumb.

I’m a voice in the cinematic wilderness, I know. But so many people seem to think the classifications are a guide that does not apply to their kids. That’s because of course, they are just a guide – only when a movie is rated R does it become illegal to admit kids.

It’s tricky, navigating the movie guide if you’re a parent or an auntie taking nieces and nephews for a holiday treat.  But these days, you can see trailers online. You can make choices. Read reviews from all over the world. And if there’s nothing suitable on at the cinema, you can rent a DVD! You can do that now. Lots of G rated ones out there. Or cut loose and go PG!

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There is no NEED to take a 6 year old to see Batman, The Dark Knight. Have you seen the trailer for that one? It’s darker than dark. Because it’s not a kids’ movie.

But the toy shelves at K Mart are loaded with Batman toys – aimed clearly at kids under 8, not the movie’s ‘target market’ of people over 15.

So yes, I’m uptight on this one. And I’m prepared for the comments. In fact, if you’re outraged at my stance, but too busy to compose your own comment, here’s a handy menu. Which of these best reflects your opinion?

1. How dare you judge my parenting? My five year old is mature beyond her years and has such a sophisticated sense of humor. She is able to process far more than your dopey kids, Kate Hunter.

2. We do everything as a family. If I want to see an MA+ movie, it would be unfair and hypocritical not to share it with my children.

3. For goodness sake! Things like sex with parsnips go over the heads of little ones. All a five year old sees is the cute teddy. To her a bong is just a juice bottle! Lighten up!

4. I believe in exposing my children to all aspects of sexuality from birth. What is so outrageous about sex with a parsnip (assuming it was organically grown)?

5. Yes, but my kids really, really, really want to see it. Everyone in their school will have seen it and I don’t want my child ostracized. My parents wouldn’t let me see Grease when I was 12 and I never got over it.

6. My children watch The Family Guy all the time and have done since they were two. If anything, Ted looks a bit tame.

From inappropriate movies to inappropriate toys. Would you buy any of these for your kids?

Kate Hunter is an advertising copywriter with over 20 years experience and one Gruen Transfer appearance to her name. Kate is also the author of the Mosquito Advertising series of novels. You can buy them here.

Have you seen Ted? What are your thoughts about kids, movies and classifications? Feel free to add to my list.