Whoops, inappropriate movie.

Whoops! Inappropriate Old Movie

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Whoops, inappropriate movie.
That’s a whole different sort of entertainment. (CC 2.0 by Nadia Hatoum)

When my husband and I were first dating, we loved broad parodies like Blazing Saddles, Sleeper, and Airplane! We used movie lines as code between us (hardly the first teenagers to do so) and, a decade or so later, I had the lame-brained inspiration to revisit those movies with our kids.

It’s not till I watched these old favorites with a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old that I realized, to my surprise, they weren’t entirely kid-friendly. Racist jokes meant to lampoon racism? Jokes about sex-and-drug-crazed pilots and stewardesses, not to mention plane crash jokes? The Orgasmatron? Yeah, my kids haven’t let me forget.

In my defense, old movies (as well as old books) can be great conversation starters. True, sometimes these are conversations you weren’t ready to have just yet. But it’s downright fascinating to get a kid’s perspective on outdated social mores, especially asking where they draw the line between what’s funny and what is demeaning.

Apparently, I’m not the only parent whose judgment is memory-impaired when it comes to movies. My fellow GeekMoms have done the same thing.

We tried showing our then 5-year-old Home Alone over Christmas—it was definitely a different experience! We didn’t make it far. I was allowed to watch whatever I wanted when I was a kid (Blues Brothers was often on repeat), but I don’t think I have the same philosophy as a parent now!—Kelly

There was that one time when I let my eldest son, then nine, watch The Terminator with me when it was on regular cable. He wanted the DVD and I bought it for him. I totally spaced on the nudity that had been cut from the television version we watched. Oops.—Corrina

I think I watched a ton of inappropriate movies because a) I had an older brother by seven years, and b) we watched most of them edited for television, with commercials. As I got older, I could see how awkward and terrible the edited versions were, but when you’re small you’re oblivious. Here are the movie mistakes we’ve made with kids: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Beverly Hills Cop, Romancing the Stone, Ghostbusters (I think I was 30 before I realized what that ghost was doing to sleeping Dan Aykroyd).—Jackie

My sons are 10 and 12, so we’re slowly dipping our toes into that zone. I just had a conversation about how PG in the early 80s (before the invention of the PG-13 rating) isn’t the same as PG now. This discussion came up while we were watching Romancing the Stone the other night. It had come up during National Lampoon’s Vacation (the 1983 version) too.

Right now, we’re on the Christopher Guest and company comedies. Our sons are *barely* old enough to handle the humor. We just finished Best in Show (full of innuendo!), and just started For Your Consideration. I want to show them A Mighty Wind most of all (they’d get a kick out of the music), and maybe This is Spinal Tap soon. We have yet to watch Blazing Saddles in front of the kids. Call me lazy, but we don’t feel like saying “Don’t repeat that” over and over and over.—Patricia

My kids, at 5 and 8 or so, really wanted to watch Mamma Mia, and they did indeed love it. But at the end, I was really glad nobody asked why she doesn’t know who her daddy is or what “dot dot dot” in the diary reading implied.—Ruth

Monty Python and the Holy Grail… my favorite comedy of all time… went do share with my oldest… totally forgot   “and then comes the oral sex.” Aye, aye, aye… oops.

My dad’s the most conservative of all of us and makes fun of me when I get embarrassed around him. The first time I saw Slapshot unedited, I was so embarrassed to be watching it with him while he’s cracking up at me. I totally forget about a few of those scenes. I mentioned in my Top Gear post having my then five-year-old ask what a bellend was… right in front of Grandpa. Three generations of awkward, but now it’s a running gag at our house.

We all love the Hanson Brothers, though. I’ve had to learn the hard way when you see a movie on TV the first time, make sure it hasn’t been too edited before sitting down to the full version with your kids. Of course, they all got treated to the Jackman butt in that last X-Men, but they’re at the state where butts are just plain funny, even Wolverine’s.—Lisa

We sat down to watch Ghostbusters with my son recently. I love this movie and was thrilled that he was really into it. Well, until it got to that part where Dan Aykroyd is having the… ahem… erotic dream. Hey, everyone… who wants popcorn??

Also, this wasn’t something we sat to watch, but the topic reminded me… one holiday season, my husband and son were out and I was watching Love Actually. They came in, so I changed it. My husband hit “return channel” button right to the scenes with Martin Freeman going through his “lines” to that girl… with all of the various porno scenes. Thank goodness my son’s back was to the screen at the time. (That actually made it funnier.) I was like… “change it back!!”—Rachel

Or maybe we’re overreacting.

Samantha says,  “Huh. I have or would let my kids watch any of these.”

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14 thoughts on “Whoops! Inappropriate Old Movie

  1. For what it’s worth, the Dan Akroyd scene was not in any version of the Ghostbusters I watched in England. TV or DVD release. I only just saw that scene last year at age 33!

  2. It’s really hard to remember the details of a movie from so long ago. You remember the general sense of the film and how you felt about it. It’s so natural to want to share the movies we loved from childhood with our kids. And so hard to remember what was scary too us at such a young age. We have been very cautious about showing movies to our 5 year old until recently. We haven’t hit an oops movie yet, but I’m sure we will at some point. Luckily kids miss out on a lot of the sexual stuff.

  3. Yep, you are definitely overreacting. Man, the movies I used to watch as a kid would clearly melt heads here. 😉

    1. I don’t think the author is suggesting we’re bad parents by letting the kids watch the movies. I think it was more of “Wow, I didn’t remember that scene when I first saw the movie”. I was that way with Romancing the Stone a couple weeks ago. Totally forgot what Jack and Joan where doing when Jack lifts the map from Joan. 🙂

  4. I was born in the early 70’s and I had an older sister. She was in Jr. High when Grease came out. She had the album and at 6, I would ride my bike up and down the street singing, “Go Grease Lightning….the chicks will cream….for Grease Lightning.” I also like the “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee” song…you know with the line, “wild with virginity” in it.
    Years later, I was teaching elementary school and the PTA president wanted the kids to do a production of Grease. I remember thinking that the parents will really love seeing their 9 and 10 year olds put on a play about teenagers that just want to get laid.

    1. We watched “Grease” as a family 2-3 years ago, and Rizzo’s story line was COMPLETELY over their heads. She spends a lot of the movie being “late” (i.e., maybe pregnant) and I had hoped my sons wouldn’t ask what she meant by that. .

  5. My dad would let me watch any movie, of any rating, as long as it was based on a historical event or somewhat educational. I remember watching The Bone Collector at about age 10. My mom walked in, saw me sitting there, and yelled at my dad. He replied, “It’s educational!” In his defense, the only thing I took away from it is a love for crime drama. I also grew up on Law & Order (original + Criminal Intent). Still my favorite shows. I don’t know about “inappropriate,” as none of them marred my psyche (as far as I know), but the following were some interesting Approved Childhood Viewing choices by my brothers and parents:
    1. MAD TV (brothers)
    2. Grease (parents)
    3. Braveheart (dad)
    4. Ren & Stimpy (parents and brothers)
    5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (parents)
    6. Monty Python (brothers)
    7. The Patriot (dad)
    8. The Silence of the Lambs (dad)
    9. The Usual Suspects (dad)
    10. The Sixth Sense (dad and brothers)

  6. Dances With Wolves. I forgot how violent it actually is. And while there is a sex scene or two, those don’t worry me as much as violence. And my kids reacted more strongly to the blood and gore. They simply sort of turn away from sex–look uncomfortably away, and that’s ok. But with the violence, they hid behind pillows and asked me to turn it off. It was a poor choice. Think my oldest was around 12.

  7. I just had one of those moments tonight! The last couple times I’d seen My Cousin Vinny it was in edited for TV versions. My almost-12-year-old daughter was going through the onscreen guide and wasn’t finding anything she liked. I said she might think that was funny. I didn’t realize at first that it was on Starz and not a regular channel. Even if I’d realized it, I know I didn’t remember how many F bombs were in that movie, although I should have known given it was Joe Pesci. I let the first one go by, but when there were more within the next few minutes, we put on some music instead.

    It’s not only the younger kids this is an issue with either. My son started reading Game of Thrones a couple years ago as a senior in high school, and I read them around the same time. I wanted to get caught up on the series before the next season started (third at the time, I think?) and I knew he wanted to watch them, too. Every so often I’d see if he wanted to start watching it and he’d say he didn’t want to watch it right then. I finally got sick of waiting and started watching it on my own. After I watched the first episode with all of the nudity and violence, I told him it was a good thing we didn’t watch it together. At that point, he was old enough to watch it, but that’s not the sort of thing you want to be watching with your mother. He said he knew it was going to be that bad and that’s why he kept saying he didn’t want to watch it when I asked. He couldn’t understand why I kept asking him to watch it with me, figuring I should have known what it would be like.

    1. My older son talked me into “Bad Grandpa,” in the (cheap) movie theater. My kids were laughing their heads off and I was the one hiding my face! Finally I’m like, “Guys, this is so inappropriate!” I told my older son, “this is the kind of movie you watch over at a friend’s house when the parents aren’t around, and you don’t tell me about it!”

  8. Oh we had this moment when we went to a local showing of Ghostbusters. It was a movies in the park situation, so we didn’t even bat an eye at taking the boys. They hadn’t seen ghostbusters yet. Why not? Ha! yeah….I’m just glad that A. the sound is always weird at those events, and B. that my kids are usually playing cards/ hanging with friends/trying not to fall asleep once the movie really gets going. I forgot how edited the movie was for TV. Jurassic Park was another like that, but they are 11 and 9 now, so they just look at each other and say – We don’t say that – On that note Speed Racer the live action movie from a few years back has quite a few choice words in it. My boys have the cartoon and when the movie came out all those words went over their heads, but these days they catch it all.

  9. My kids are both in high school and of course when I was in high school the big movies were Top Gun and Dirty Dancing. I was permitted to go see them, although my parents were pretty careful about what I took in, I’m not sure they knew the whole story. So my dd asked what Dirty Dancing was about – they go on vacation, one sister wants to have premarital sex, the other wants her dad to give her $$ to help a girl pay for an abortion. When it is botched the dad has to come in and help. Dad is disappointed in daughter and so she rebels by falling into the arms of another man. REALLY? Why oh why did I watch that – multiple times?????

  10. I did that with “Grumpy Old Men.” My kids were maybe 7 and 11, and I thought they’d like the shenanigans the two main characters played on each other. I forgot what a horn-dog the Dad was in the movie, as well as a lot of the swearing. “Uh, guys–We’ll watch this one when you’re a little older.” Whoops!

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