Can a PG-13 Movie Be Family Friendly?
by Dick Rolfe, CEO - The Dove
There have been a great many attempts to
write and produce a good family-friendly movie. The
mainstream studios have often missed the mark by adding
gratuitous language, which otherwise ruins a warm
inspirational story that most families would enjoy
an opportunity was lost by Miramax in the making of EVERYBODY'S
FINE, a PG-13 movie starring De Niro as a widower
trying to stay connected with his estranged children who
have moved far from home. Unfortunately, someone (a
writer, producer, director, or perhaps De Niro himself)
decided to insert two blasts of profanity that smack the
unsuspecting movie-goer like an icy snowball on a summer
Which begs the question; can a PG-13 movie be
truly family friendly?
As though it was created just to prove my
point, Warner Bros. released a PG-13 movie, THE
BLIND SIDE, starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.
Based on a true story, this film portrayed drug use,
racism, fighting, and other inappropriate behavior, but
none of it was exploitive or explicit. Except for a
smattering of expletives, there were no profanities or
obscenities. In fact, this movie was a very principled
story with plenty of grit and humor presented in a
manner that is poignant while not being offensive. Dove
was proud to endorse this film for audiences over age
THE BLIND SIDE is, in my opinion, the best
mainstream family movie of 2009 so far.
Some lazy filmmakers will argue that sex or
violence or obscene language is necessary to properly
characterize the bad guys, or the struggles their heroes
must endure to punctuate their overcoming of
adversities. In the words of Ebenezer Scrooge, “Bah, Humbug!” That argument is
a red herring. To support that case, one would have to
discount every movie made prior to 1968 when there were
standards of decency in place for mainstream films. So now what? “The Maltese Falcon” disappears from the scene. Throw
a rock through “Rear Window?” Send “The African Queen”
up the river? Declare “Citizen Kane” an illegal alien?
Bomb “Casablanca?” I
could go on.
According to the American Film Institute, 61 of the top
100 films of all time were produced prior to
1968, the year the first R-rated movie was released.
Hmmm, makes you think doesn’t it?
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