HeidiTown Rant: Stupid Parents


Rated R

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.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree. Years ago I was standing in line with a mother and three kids ranging from about 3 to 13. She was obviously killing time and was debating with the tweener about seeing 12 Monkeys (sci-fi thriller with Brad Pitt & Bruce Willis). I had seen it and stuck my big nose in letting her know it was a pretty intense film for kids. The older boy looked daggers at me. They got to the box office in front of me and she ordered 4 tickets for DUSK TIL DAWN!!! That’s what I was seeing so I got to endure 2 hours knowing a bunch of little kids (hers weren’t the only ones) were watching one of the goriest (Hello, Tarantino) – albeit fun vampire movies made. You will never see me taking my kid to an R-rated movie. Common sense. It’s free, people.


  2. First off, when are Suz, you and I going on the road as a comedy trio? We can all rant together. And we can bring my dogs. They like to ride in cars.

    OK, now kids going to R-rated movies is deplorable. When I saw Avatar 3-D, some idiots brought their little kids who were scared and had to pee 20 times. They also brought a baby (can’t find a sitter?). I mean, really, I paid to see the movie and I don’t want to hear a teething child screaming in my ear.

    Sadly, due to this stupidity, I don’t go to the movies that often and just use Blockbuster’s Online thing (although sometimes they send me the wrong movies. Or maybe we just got our neighbor’s movies a few times. We realized his name was on our movie envelopes once and now check to make sure we don’t get another one of *those* movies…if you know what I mean.)


  3. Suz, that story is funny and sad.

    Amy, my dog would like to come too! She’s 80 lbs which I think is like 20x the size your “kids.” LOL!

    I failed to mention the little girl behind us during “AI” was sobbing during parts of the movie. It was heartwrenching. If it happened today, I would say something. I’d feel morally obligated to butt in.


  4. I agree 200%. If you can’t afford a sitter, I got one word for you: Redbox. Seriously. Like you, I dread to think what other parenting marvels that people who drag their toddler in for 17+ movies are capable of, but the more superficial issue gets at me: how rude it is to everybody else who paid to get in. Didn’t pay $10 to watch your kids squirm, talk and cry.
    I wonder how the market would react if the AMCs of the world designated certain showtimes (the later evening ones) as nobody under 10, period. I’d give a lot more money to that theater.


  5. Col. H. B. That’s not a bad idea. In fact, I have a group of movie reviewer friends in Denver who would go further. They would require a membership to the theater and those with the membership would have cetain hours when the theater belonged to them… anyway… it’s an idea that has never come fruition, but a good idea nonetheless. Serious movie goers need to unite, as do serious writers. #writersunite 🙂


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