I do not believe in nannyism. For instance, I am vehemently opposed to the idea of giving an R rating to any movie where the actors smoke, more on that topic at a later date. I do not think we need to pass legislation on the following issue, but parents need to wake up to their duties.
My concern is over the outright stupidity of parents who bring their young children to violent movies. This rant was inspired by going to Mel Gibson’s new revenge flick this past weekend.
We attended a late matinee of “The Edge of Darkness,” and the theater was packed. Several cell phones went off before and during the show, but believe it or not, this wasn’t what really set me off.
Two sets of parents had brought their very young children to this movie. A little boy of about seven or eight sat in the row in front of us, and behind us there was another little boy of about five.
“The Edge of Darkness” isn’t a Quentin Taratino type of film, but it is violent. There’s a lot of blood splattering and splashing, and some very brutal gunshot wounds, including one scene where a man bleeds out slowly from a gunshot to his throat.
I realize these children in the theater with me at “The Edge of Darkness” have probably seen much worse in their short lifetimes, but the fact that they were at this movie really bothered me.
The five year old behind us kept asking questions during the movie, and his parents just kept shushing him. I was reminded of another incident back in 2001. There was a little girl sitting behind us at the movie “A.I.” (PG13) and she cried throughout the movie, not understanding that it was a sci-fi and not reality. Her parents didn’t comfort her, just continually shushed her and it tore my heart out.
Not only is a child prone to disruptiveness during this type of adult-oriented movie, but these parents are also doing their child a terrible injustice. By desensitizing an adolescent to violence you are setting them up to become unsympathetic adults. I don’t believe these children will grow up to be murderers, but they may grow up lacking an important component of being human – compassion.
I do not want legislation banning theaters from allowing parents to bring their young children into R-rated movies, but parents need to be aware of what type of movie they are allowing their child to view.
If you are a parent and you want to see “The Edge of Darkness,” or a similar type of movie, get a babysitter, or wait until it comes to DVD. By bringing your child to this type of movie you prove you are selfish, and quite frankly, you should be ashamed.