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An Open Letter to the Movie Industry

Dear Movie Industry,

I am writing this letter after what started to be a promising day.

I am the mother of teenagers.  It is rare for all of our schedules to mesh in such a way as we can actually spend time together as one unit.  Today was one such day.

We decided to go to the movies, in celebration of Mr. AuburnChick’s birthday.  The latest, most anticipated summer movie was Transformers.  We had seen the first one, loved it, and couldn’t wait to see the sequel.

We decided to see the matinee.  I am unemployed, and money is tight.  Chicky’s Guy Friend tagged along, making for a whopping total of $35+tax spent.

We didn’t mind.  As I stated previously, it would be a rare day spent together.

The movie started innocently enough…good transformers fighting bad ones.  We settled into our seats for even more action.  We had heard wonderful things about the movie.

It didn’t take long for my excitement to turn to disappointment.  The first clue that things were going south was when one of the female characters was shown from the rear wearing shorts that left nothing to the imagination.  Did the camera really have to linger there?

Next, the audience heard an earful of curse words and sexual innuendo…all coming from the mouths of the “parents.”  Animal sexual antics, followed by a “You’ll see more of this in college, Son,” caused me to grit my teeth in anger.

As the Transformers began to play a bigger role in the action, so did their mouths.  I was shocked to hear curse words spewing forth from them.  Not only curse words, but very crude phrases that were directed at females.

I crossed my arms and grew increasingly tense as each scene passed.  You see, my son used to play with Transformers.  As you know, kids imitate what they see.  Can you picture your son or daughter using some of the colorful language they’d just heard at the movie that Mommy and Daddy just took them to see?

Oh sure, the action scenes were fantastic.  I’ll give you that.  The special affects were superbly done.

But why, oh why, did you find it necessary to throw in so much sex?  Some of it was overt, and some it was behind the scenes.  An observant mom like me won’t miss those posters on the college dorm wall.  I know I may not be a famous Hollywood writer, but I fail to see how a girl sitting on a boy’s lap added substance to the storyline.

I debated.  Do I stay, or do I get up and walk out.

I fought my thoughts as the scenes continued.

At one point, we were treated to the sight of a man ripping off his pants to reveal that he was wearing thongs with something written on them.  I have no idea what they said because I turned my eyes away.  I heard shouts of surprise and a few of shock from some of the patrons.  Did you really have to leave that man’s butt on the huge screen for more than five seconds?

Point taken.  Crude.

The thing that pushed me over the edge was when a transformer saw fit to do a sexual number on the main female character, and she laughed.  I sat two seats away from my daughter and was mortified.  Sure, she’s 17, but do I really want her to think it’s okay to laugh off such sexual banter?  The way women were portrayed in this movie was appalling.  They are not sex objects or brainless.

My heart was beating hard as I grabbed my stuff and walked out.  I barely made it to the restroom…that’s how badly my body was shaking from anger.  At first, I felt guilty leaving the theater.  This was the first time I have ever walked out before a movie was over.  With each step, I grew more confident and proud.  And angry.

Folks…you knew very well that kids and adults would be seeing this movie.  Regardless of who the target audience was, why did you have to dirty it up this way?

I’m angry because I seem to be the only person who cared.  I did not see one other person walk out today, and I know I’m not the only person who holds my morals close to my heart.

I feel cheated.  I want my money back.  But giving me back my measly $7 won’t hurt you one little bit, will it?  This movie will make millions as crowds continue to pour in and sell out showings.

Oh sure, some might be surprised at the filth that the human and non-human characters shout out, but they’ll be distracted minutes later by action scenes.

You may have those people fooled, but not me.

Shame on you for allowing your industry to go to such lengths just to make a dollar.

Shame on me for continuing to waste money on this form of “entertainment.”

Maybe you haven’t heard, but money isn’t everything.  In fact, it’s worth nothing if it means giving up your integrity.  When is the last time you heard someone say, “I won’t go see that movie.  It doesn’t have any cussing in it?”

I’ll venture to guess you never have.  Neither have I.

You can be sure of this.  I may only be one voice, but it is one that will be vocal from here on out.

I implore you…please…make cleaner movies…movies that families can see together without being embarrassed.

That’s the sign of integrity.

Signed,

AuburnChick

3 Responses

  1. This is so true…I don’t know why they think they have to add the curse words or the other stuff. We don’t ever go to the movies ’cause I’m a big classic fan and don’t care for the acting either…but this is another reason. Isaiah asked to watch it and we both said no way…he can only watch “G” movies and that is after we have checked them out.

    I was very disappointed in Marley…they ruined what could have been a good movie for a family to watch. Isaiah had received it as a gift he turned it on before we could all sit down, he came back to me so upset and said “mommy, I can’t watch it, they say bad stuff”…I sat down and sure enough there it was grrrrr. Although I was very proud in him for realizing he shouldn’t watch it and turning it off : )

  2. So true! Just last week a good friend called up and wanted to go see a movie. It was a last-minute thing, and neither of us really had time to look at a review, but she thought the previews looked great and I just hadn’t heard of it. We saw The Proposal. It was awful! The funny parts were very funny, and it was a nice enough story, but there was a scene with a male stripper and then the next scene had both the lead man and woman totally nekkid! It was set up as an accidental/funny thing, but we were both horrified! Sadly, I didn’t even think about the option to walk out, I just covered my eyes/looked away for the awkward parts. The worst part was, we saw another friend at the theatre with her teenage daughter–we were so embarrassed for them. This just plain shouldn’t happen, but we were both slapping ourselves for not taking the time to check out pluggedinonline before going. It would have saved us time, money, and embarrassment.

  3. Today at church, I even had a 15 year old boy come up to me & say “It should NOT have been rated PG-13″….that’s pretty bad when a 15 year old thinks that!!!

    And had a 16 yr old girl even say, “It was pretty degrading to girls….”……

    That’s so disappointing!

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