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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Family Movie Night Goes All Wrong

Recently, my kids wanted to have a family movie night. I decided that I would get a movie that we would all enjoy and could watch together. My oldest daughter, Randi likes movies, my younger daughter Graci, not as much. Still we were going to watch a movie together and snuggle under the blankets and just have some family bonding time.

I happened to be out at the local Christian book store, when I saw they had family movies for $5. There were several movies to choose from. All of them the clerk said were “family movies.” I looked at titles and had never really heard of any of them and most of them didn’t have well known actors in them. I asked the clerk if he knew anything about the movies. He said he actually just watched the movie “Jimmy” about a special needs child who see angels, and it was fantastic.

I asked if it was a good movie for girls ages 7 and 9? He said he thought it was and he was so sure about the movie that if I didn’t like it, I could bring it back and he would give me my money back. I thought this must be a great movie. I was happy I had found what we were going to watch for family movie night!

When I got home, I told my husband and the girls that I had this awesome movie for us to watch and that the guy at the store said we would really love it. So, on Friday night we all gathered around and put the DVD in and started watching the movie. No sooner than a few minutes into it, I started wondering if I had the right movie. This movie started with a horrific water scene where a kid’s bike was thrown in a lake and there was a drowning scene. My girls were a little frightened.

My husband and I looked at each other wondering what the movie was all about. The problem was, I didn’t really know. I didn’t check the movie out before hand. I just played it in the DVD player. I usually always know the movie ahead of time. I at least have seen the movies my kids watch. They are young, so most of the movies they see are “G” rated movies. I think they may have seen a few “PG.”

This movie didn’t have a rating. I just assumed that it was a family movie because I bought it at the Christian bookstore. The problem was this movie was a little too much for my girls. It had violence including a scary kidnapping scene and a drug dealing scene.

If I had let my kids see this movie they would have been too scared to go to bed that night. My 9-year- old could probably handle more than the 7-year-old, but still it was a little much even for her. I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. This was our family movie night and my husband had to keep pausing the movie and then fast forwarding it thinking the scary scenes would be over. 

I will say that the movie was an overall good movie. My husband and I ended up watching the movie because we wanted to see what happened in it. We kind of told the girls what happened because they wanted to know since they had seen some of the movie. 

After I watched the movie,I remembered there is a website that you can go on to find out about movies and see what they have in them and their ratings. I went online to see if this movie was on there, thinking if I had only done this first. This movie wasn’t on there, so it wouldn’t have helped me this time.  I will say that most movies are on the site. I thought it might be helpful for those of you taking your kids this holiday season to movies to be able to find out if the movies are for kids. There are several websites that rate movies. Here are two good sites that rate kids movies Kids In Mind  and Plugged In.

If I had to rate this movie I would say PG and I would say it is most appropriate for middle school kids. It is actually a really good movie, just a little too old for my kids.

I did end up calling the store and letting them know that they shouldn’t recommend this movie for families with kids under the age of 12. I guess what what one person thinks is ok for some kids, may not always be the case for others. My advice is to watch the movie before you watch it with the family, especially if you don’t know anything about the movie. I know for next time.

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