By Eliska Counce, TSB Contributing Writer
Hey. You. You boneheads that brought your four children under the age of 10 to the movie theater to see the latest Bond film, Skyfall, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. I hate to break it to you, but this is an open letter to you, because you are so doing parenting wrong. The decision to expose those kids to the sex, violence, and profanity in that movie? Epic. Parenting. Fail. And you need to be called out on it. I’m up for a little public shaming.
I mean, really – bringing your three or four year old daughter to an R rated movie? She had her blankie and bottle with her while 007 was having his shaken, not stirred. Her legs barely stuck out over the theater seat. Oh, and she was paying attention. I heard her asking you questions, Mommy. In fact, I heard a lot from the four children you had up past decent bedtimes to expose them to completely inappropriate cinematic material. The three boys under ten lined up to our side had lots of tween commentary about blowing things and snickers for boobies. Good times.
Your eight or nine year old son was also the only one to giggle, wildly inappropriately, at the gruesome end to our Bond villain, a serious denouement scene. The rest of the theater was silent. But then again, making noise didn’t really seem to concern you: you were either unaware or didn’t care you were making a great deal of noise as you brought out your bowls and cups from home to share your popcorn and drinks with your children on the row behind you during the movie.
How many ways did you fail, parents to small children in that theater? Let me count the ways:
You failed your children. Why did you insist on bringing these impressionable young people to see all this violence? I’m a jaded old lady. I enjoy a thirty-kill spy movie on occasion because it’s age appropriate for me. I wanted to snatch your baby’s blanket and wrap it around her head so she wouldn’t see all the blood, guts, and guns. How did she not have nightmares? What time DO your children go to bed anyway? Why was she up so late? You don’t care she heard the B, F, and S words that night? You needed your Daniel Craig fix so badly you would expose them to R rated material? Thee three boys lined up next to me and Hubs giggled at every bloody moment. What are you teaching them? How numb ARE you?
You failed me and the rest of the audience. The excessive talking, snack sharing, and not to mention two potty breaks for the baby who was too little to even take the stairs? More than a little distracting in a packed theater. The sold out, adult audience was straining to filter out British accents and listen for plot points as you pointed out to Baby Sister that yes, that was a house in the movie! Before it got blown up in your baby’s face, I mean. I couldn’t relax and truly enjoy my adult gratuitous violence. I literally felt uncomfortable sitting next to your eight year old during Bond’s sex scenes and annoyed at how they snickered at all the violence. I did not get the experience I hoped to have when I payed through the nose for my popcorn due to you and your entourage of minors.
You failed yourself. Admit it. You’re better than this. You don’t need to see a movie so badly that you would expose your naive children to it. Well, before seeing the Bond movie, naive. I’m not so sure how innocent your children are at this point. You chose to have these children. You can either wait until they grow up or get a damned babysitter if you want to see an R movie. You showed appalling self-centeredness at bringing your kids to this show and with your display of obliviousness with the inter-aisle snack sharing.
So. Do better. Pay attention to movie ratings. They’re there for knuckleheads like you. Under seven? G only. Under ten? PG at best. And a lot of times those are questionable. PG-13? 13. Duh. R is 17 and up, people. There’s a reason for that rating, folks, and it’s called human development. The brain is still forming. And trust me, there’s no room for the ultra violence of an R rated James Bond film. Do us all a favor. Get a sitter. Or stay home and put the kids down at a decent hour. Give them a chance, for the love of Pete. Because that display of you and your family at the movies Wednesday night? Was all kinds of no.