Monday, April 28, 2008

Movie ratings

I was reading OMSH and Heather had some ideas on watching R rated movies. At first I read it, thought about it a few minutes and moved on. But then she revisited the idea. So I had to revisit the idea.

I have gone through many phases in my life. When I was in high school and college I was beyond the "good girl". I fell into the "Uber-Christian" category. It kept me out of trouble and away from some activities that I could have come to regret. But it also kept me away from the grit and reality of the world beyond my backyard.

With age I have found that I enjoy movies that show a tougher, sometimes heartbreaking side of the world. Mostly those tend to be R rated. Take for example Trade. I believe it was done very well, but there was no way to cover the topic without earning an R rating. I also believe that I am a better person for having watched that movie and knowing that story.

A few other movies that fall into that category for me are Lord of War, Hotel Rwanda, and Dangerous Beauty.

On the other hand, I tend to stay away from movies that have violence or nudity just to have it. I am okay with having violence or nudity if it is central to the telling of the story, but not if it is just extraneous. There are truths that are much more potent when told in a story format and sometimes those stories aren't G rated.

I will not allow my son to watch those movies until he is much, much older and can truly understand the meaning that is being portrayed. It takes a certain amount of maturity to watch and understand some movies.

Let me stop here for a moment and say, that if someone chooses not to watch R rated movies, that is their choice and I don't doubt their maturity level. We each have to make our own decisions and it is not up to me to judge anyone else's choices. The only ones I am responsible for are myself and my son until he is old enough to make those choices himself. While I do have some influence on my husband's choices, even then, it's ultimately up to him.

Have I watched movies that have no redeeming value and violence or nudity? Yes. Do I always regret it. No, not always, but often times I do. And I'm sure that sometime in my life I will again watch a movie that does not add to my character. But for the most part when I watch a movie I try to ask myself, "Does this make me a better or more interesting person?" It is my hope that I can say "yes" more times than not.

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