17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Virgin Kagey

On my honeymoon, I lost my virginity

to "Saving Private Ryan" and "There's Something About Mary". See, my DH had been an R-rated movie watcher, and I had not, so our honeymoon became our first and last viewings. It was our first official compromise. I said I would watch them with him, if he came over to my side.

I think he was secretly hoping I would cross over, but after viewing the two movies, I didn't see myself as missing much. [Disclaimer: I don't pretend to be completely R-rated movie-free. I have seen a few on TV, and accidentally rented a few by Christopher Guest, but I had never deliberately seen one in theaters at that point in my life.]

Last spring, a friend of mine, knowing that I am a non-watcher, recommended one to me that I just HAD to see for the acting. I let it sit in my house for almost 6 months. I took it with me on a business trip and finally watched it in my hotel room, alone. It was the first one I had seen in about 4 years (remember the Christopher Guest one? That was about 4 years ago). The acting was really great, and overall it was a clean movie by way of drugs, language, and sexual content...but the plot itself was definitely rated R, and it bugged me a little.

Cut to this past month. This year is the first in which I have been able to vote for the SAG awards. I did not know this, but films start campaigning for votes. All of a sudden I was flooded with free movie tickets in the mail, and then I was sent 3 DVDs...which brings us to my latest Rated-R experience.

Little Miss Sunshine. Ever since I first read about it I wanted to see it SO much...not only because of the cast (yea, they won!), but also because the story and the main character seemed so great. I saw that it was rated R, and did what I always do: forgot about it.

Then it showed up in the mail with it's bright, shiny yellow cover and it's VW bus.

And I watched it.

And I LOVED it.

And I didn't appreciate the swears. And neither did my DH. When I beckoned him to come join me, he complained about it having too many swears. (The next day, THE DEPARTED arrived in our mailbox, and he really wanted to watch that...think there might be a swear or two in that one?)

I cried when I told my mom about the movie and that she should watch it if it ever comes on tv.

So now I don't know where that leaves me.

I want to follow the curch's advice to not view Rated R movies. However, in the past I think I have just let the rating guide me completely...meaning I haven't shown much discretion in the PG-13 (on down) movies I have watched, and instead just assumed they were ok because of the rating. Um hi, ever seen Anchorman? It's pretty raunchy and I did not find it uplifting (it comes to mind b/c I saw it was on tv tonight). Little Miss Sunshine, despite it's language was totally uplifting and had a great message.

I know that there are all sorts of views out there on this subject...from my Dad (only watches G and PG) to some of my friends (are open to watching most films, regardless of ratings). How do you decide what movies to watch, and how will you decide how to guide your children on this topic?

Your friend, Kage


  • I was totally raised to not watch R's or PG-13's even. I was nearly a pg-13 virgin when I arrived at BYU- (except for that one time I saw dirty dancing at a friend's house!!) But I got married, and then I realized that there actaully were some good PG-13 movies out there to watch. And now I watch tons..I mean, who even MAKES pg movies for adults amy more?

    My stance today is that I have been this "perfect" for so long, how can you break a streak like that? I saw Schindler's list,(I can't remember-it may have been on tv tho) but in my entire life I haven't seen another unedited rated R movie.

    SO, the answer for me is different than for others. For OTHERS, I feel like the ratings are important, but if you are healthily selective, you could see a rated R movie and it not be a big deal. I don't know... I mean, I haven't seen them so I don't know if a person would become desensitized enough to start thinking that more and more formerly unacceptable content slowly becomes more acceptable to them.

    It's tough... I guess I would let each person decide what exactly is appropriate for them. I certainly would not think you were "bad" for seeing one. But if you starting watching them all the time, that's probably another issue.

    I mean, there is a purpose for the church guidance, right? Protecting us from stuff that generally we are better off without. I think that I personally feel safer not watching R rated movies. But I certainly don't judge others who choose to. That's my stance.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 2/05/2007 06:12:00 AM  

  • You've got a great point, kage. There are some movies out there that tend to be really good, despite the ratings --and some that are just awful --despite the ratings.

    However, DH and I have decided against rater R movies, even if just for the sole purpose of following prophetic counsel. But we apply it to PG-13 movies, too --if it looks raunchy, then it probably is, you know? I remember when Schindler's List came out (thanks for the reminder rachel!), and my parents were the only ones in the "neighborhood" who wouldn't watch it. When asked why, my mom said "I don't have to see the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust to know that it happened and be disgusted by it".

    Her wording changed the way I see movies. Why do I want to see the gore or the sex? Or historical "accuracy"? I remember Pretty Woman and everyone raving --yeah, it's a Cinderella story, but she was still a prostitute --and then there was Titanic, right? I saw that movie 3 times in the theater, thinking I was all "movie-savvy" --and then I realized that I could learn more about the Titanic in textbooks than a movie that was filled with nudity and more sex (and what's up with her returning to the guy she knew for 5 days after she dies?! Where's the man she ended up marrying and having children with and being with for 70 years?!?)

    Anyways, I guess my point is that you shouldn't feel guilty for liking "Little Miss Sunshine" --but don't expect others to agree to see the movie.

    Oh, and with our kids, we don't even like to show some G or PG movies. I hate those raunchy new cartoons out there; we're careful about what we show them and as they grow older, there will be absolute rules --but when they are old enough to make their own choices, well, then I guess we'll have to let them (since they won't be living here!). :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 2/05/2007 07:35:00 AM  

  • I actually just had a similar experience with Little Miss Sunshine. I was AMAZED at the fantastic work of that great ensemble cast. I loved the story. Hated the language and a couple other things, but could appreciate the rest. I don't watch many R rated movies because I tend to find the story eclipsed in a lot of junk. I have seen Schindler's List and that was a life changing experience. One of my all time favorite movies is Moulin Rouge, which is PG-13, but I'd say it would be more accurately labeled at a mild R. I just don't think there is a fail safe way to judge movies- you have to research, talk to people and sometimes, you just have to jump in and see for yourself. If you are watching at home, you can always turn it off. It's a little harder if you've paid for a movie ticket, but once again, you can walk out.
    We know what is good and uplifting and we know what's not. And like many things in life- it's different for all people. You need to live in a way so you can feel inspiration from the Holy Ghost so you can make those decisions.
    I think we all need to set our boundaries and stick to them. My friend believes she shouldn't watch anything her kids couldn't watch. I don't believe that. I think there is uplifting entertainment out there for everyone. We LOVE watching movies as a family, but we have grown up movies and we have everyone movies.
    We teach our kids about our family values every time we pray, have family home evening and family scripture study. For now, we do have a lot of control on what they see because they are little. We have basic cable, so they know all the shows on PBS, but not much else. We tend to limit them to G rated movies. They seem very content with that so far.
    As our kids grow, my husband and I trust that as they watch movies, tv, play computer games, and read books that they will have the spiritual gifts they need to make decisions for themselves. Just like my husband and I do.
    After all, that's part of why we are here isn't it? To sort through all there is in the world and to choose for ourselves.
    posted by Blogger normal mom at 2/05/2007 08:10:00 AM  

  • I'm fascinated by your (extremely effective) negotiating skills. By watching two R-rated movies, you got your husband to commit on his honeymoon to give up R-rated movies forever?

    I'm impressed.
    posted by Anonymous Johnna Cornett at 2/05/2007 08:23:00 AM  

  • When I was in college I made a new years resolution not to watch any rated R movies. A couple of weeks into the year I went on a date with a guy in my ward. After ice skating, we went to the movie rental place to find a movie to watch. I told everyone I was not going to watch rated R movies anymore - they laughed and said I had made it 2 weeks and that was pretty good. Can you believe they rented a rated R movie anyway. RUDE!! Needless to say, I never went out with that guy again. As for now, I agree with using your own judgement - there are plenty of pg13 movies out there that are way raunchier than most rated R movies I have seen.
    posted by Blogger Bubbles at 2/05/2007 08:27:00 AM  

  • I'm an R-rated movie watcher. I watch lots of movies of all types and ratings. In fact, my favorite film is rated R. But that doesn't mean it's for everyone.
    How do I decide what to watch? I use my better judgement. I know what I can and can't handle. You can often tell if a film will have anything redeeming just by watching a preview or reading reviews online (I love metacritic.com), and often by your own gut. The last thing I saw in the theater was "Pan's Labryinth" and it was beautiful and harrowing. Films that have difficult content can be redeemed through a good plot, excellent acting, gorgeous sets and cinematography, etc., but it can take more work on the part of the viewer.
    My theory? R-rated movies are off-limits for people under 17 for a reason. Kids should NOT see them. Adults should educate themselves before seeing them and know their own limits. I want to teach my child to watch films and television intelligently, which is easier said than done, of course. Ratings are there for a reason, but people can lobby for film ratings...it's also a financial decision oftentimes on the part of the filmmaker. I don't like trusting my own tastes and limits to the MPAA.
    posted by Blogger VirtualM at 2/05/2007 08:47:00 AM  

  • johna, yes can you believe it? I think maybe he was just waiting for a reason to stop.

    I think it is safe to say that I will probably never see an R rated film in the theatres. The handful of times I have watched them at home, I am always bracing myself for that thing that will make it rated R, so it's not the most relaxing experience.

    I will probably just keep living the way I have and when one pops up (friend recomendation, it's in my mailbox), consider it for what it is, and then make a decision.

    Thanks for your comments so far...keep them coming....
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/05/2007 09:27:00 AM  

  • The MPAA ratings are pretty screwy. The LDS film, Saints and Soldiers (I think my favorite LDS film and the lead role and his prego wife just moved into my ward.) was actually originally given an R Rating from MPAA, which they had to appeal.

    For those of you wary of MPAA ratings, you may want to check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting , which maintains its own film classification system, which takes the overall "moral tone" of a film into account, rather than focusing on content alone.

    FYI - I am one who selectively watches rated R movies (Shawshank redemption, Schindlers list, Saving private Ryan, etc.) I mean the Book of Mormon and Bible would be rated R, right?? :: sigh :: Maybe i'm just trying to justify my evil ways... :)

    And Kage, I've loved every Christopher Guest movie I've seen! Which one is rated R??
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 2/05/2007 10:26:00 AM  

  • I agree with tambott. I watch what is interesting regardless of MPAA rating. I'd much rather spend 2 hours of my life watching a movie that challenges me than something 100% safe. Just my preference.

    However, HATE *extreme* violence in movies. For that, I'll check out reviews on Screenit.com. Their reviews describe every thing that anyone could find objectionable. When you enter the site, there is a subscription offer, but you can just skip it and use the site for free.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/05/2007 10:42:00 AM  

  • The Departed: more swears than any movie I've seen in years. Loved it (but I'm crazy for Scorsese.)

    I want to be careful what I spend my money supporting. I refuse to watch a movie just because it's rated PG or PG-13. I demand quality for my time. It's for those reasons (I'm a bit of a film snob) that I watch the movie, not the rating. You could not pay ME to watch tripe like Because I Said So, I don't care what it's rated.
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 2/05/2007 10:55:00 AM  

  • tamrobot, This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman for sure are rated R. sorry.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/05/2007 11:00:00 AM  

  • My DH had a couple R-rated movies when we got married a month ago. I told him that I didn't want them in my house. I used to watch R-rated movies before when I was in my "rebellious" phase, but I quit watching them when I started making changes in my life. It's sad because I LOVE "Saving Private Ryan" and a few other R-rated movies.

    Anyway, my DH understood my reasons for not wanting those movies in my house and he decided to give his three movies to his cousin. I've told him that if he wants to watch those movies, it's fine with me - I'm not his mom - but I'd prefer if he watched them with his cousin or BIL at their houses. There was no negotiating involved. I lucked out, I guess.

    One way that I decide if I want to watch a movie is that I imagine that my mom or MIL is in the room. Actually, my MIL is pretty picky about the movies she likes so I generally use my FIL as a ruler. It doesn't always work, especially because once I start a movie I can't bring myself to turn it off. It's kinda like reading a book. I just have to finish it.

    I don't watch R-rated movies, and I don't watch a lot of PG-13 movies. Sometimes you can tell what kind of a movie it's going to be and I'm really sensitive to swearing and a lot of sexuality in movies. I'm just glad that my DH goes along with me, and I'm sure his opinions in movies will change as we get older and have children.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/05/2007 11:00:00 AM  

  • i saw Waiting for Guffman pretty long ago - it came out what 10 yrs ago? - didn't remember that it was R. All the newer ones aren't R though. I think.
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 2/05/2007 11:25:00 AM  

  • Well, there have been a lot of discussions about this on the bloggernacle. So, I don't really want to rehash my opinion.

    I watch all movies, though not always in the theater. I lived in Europe growing up so ratings weren't really a thing and I started going to R-rated movies (in the states) when I was about 12. The first movie I came accross that stunned me a little was Pulp Fiction when I was in HS.

    Its all about quality filmmaking to me. I am a complete film snob and I get pretty annoyed at members who chastise me for seeing something like Little Miss Sunshine or Pans Labryinth (both of which I recommended to my 13 year old sister) and yet watch something like You got Served or Sweet Home Alambama or (UGH) Legally Blonde. Sure its not rated R, but you jsut completly threw away 2 hours of your life. I think some movies have the potential to actually make you less intelligent.

    As far as being 'desensitized' its hard for me to comment because I have watched these movies since I was a kid. Swearing does not bother me at all and neither does violence, as long as it all has a point. I have definitly seen movies where both were obviously forced and it was a weakness of the film. The only thing I take issue with is gratuitous sex and the objectification of women (which usually go hand in hand).
    posted by Anonymous Veritas at 2/05/2007 12:44:00 PM  

  • Also, for those who don't watch those movies, do you apply the same standard to books as well? To me, movies and literature and even traditional art forms are the same. I use more of an artistic filter than any religious one to determine whats good or not, not that my religion hasn't influenced my artistic view.
    posted by Anonymous Veritas at 2/05/2007 12:48:00 PM  

  • As a convert to the church for only a few years I think this is a pretty interesting topic. I've only lived in NYC and LA since joining the church but it seems a lot of members that I've met in those citites watch rated R movies. When I first joined the church my DH and I were also watching rated R movies, and as actors we would sometimes justify that as a reason why. I wasn't a member when the prophet first counselled against rated R movies. What did he say? Maybe I should find the talk on-line and read up. It seems like a topic that many members disagree on even though there is counsel from the prophet suggesting we not watch them.

    I actually have a strong testimony of not watching rated R movies (although I, too, have slipped recently - Dang Little Miss Sunshine). My DH and I (without even meaning to really) stopped watching them. There are tons that I've wanted to see, but I know that I can find a movie with more uplifting (or less offensive) content when I'm browsing the isles at Blockbuster. Since I've stopped watching Rs I've noticed that a lot of times what makes a movie rated R is just a lot of extra stuff that doesn't even advance the story or seem very creative. I have to plug Hotel Rwanda here. It is PG-13 and the best example of a film (that I've seen) where you do not have to see as much violence/rape, etc. to feel what went on in that country. Thank you very much - my imagination did the work for me. It is an amazing film (although hard to watch sometimes). After seeing it I honestly thought there is no reason why ANY movie can't find a place in a PG-13 rating. But that's just my opinion.

    Also, when the prophet gave his counsel I think that he probably knew that there are good movies out there that are rated R, but that sometimes you have to draw a line. Same with modesty issues (there may be a tank top out there that doesn't look immodest on a flat chested girl, but we draw a line so as not to blur it). I don't think it is a case of "all rated R movies are bad movies so don't go see them".

    Oh, and I do think it would be hard to teach your kids about movie ratings if you aren't consistent with what you yourself watch. I only have an 11 month old, so it'll be interesting to read people's comments on how they teach their kids discretion when it comes to movie watching. This is always an issue when we want to take the YW to a movie or have a movie night. Should we go to a PG-13? Is there anything offensive in it? Will they be bored if we rent a G or PG movie?
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/05/2007 12:53:00 PM  

  • I think once in a while there is a good movie that is rated R. But here's my personal view: If it's a good movie, but is rated R, there will likely always be a reason to say, "It was a great movie except for... (fill in the blank with violence, sex, plot, language, etc.." The except is the reason NOT to see it for me, greatness notwithstanding. After all, in my mind it IS still only a movie and not seeing a movie will not affect my eternal salvation, but seeing one could damage my spirit. That's my approach and the one I am trying to teach my children. (Does that mean I have never watched a movie with somethign questionable. No, it doesn't. We all know that rating doesn't determine cleanliness or watchability. There are still gray areas for me, but with rated-R, I figure there is something that got it that rating in the first place, and that something is likely the thing that makes it worth not watching. We hardly watch movies anymore for these reasons.
    posted by Blogger M&M at 2/05/2007 12:56:00 PM  

  • beth, I did a 2-minute search on LDS.ORG to find "the article" where "the prophet" states NO RATED R movies, and there were a lot of articles that came up, but nothing specific to GBH.

    I am pretty sure it is in the FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH PAMPHLET, so I guess that counts. And I know when CHICAGO won the oscar, he talked about the recent oscar-winner, over the pulpit at conference and condemned it. I was sad b/c I really enjoyed that film, it was PG-13.

    So, let me know if you find anything.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/05/2007 01:25:00 PM  

  • Beth - your going to have a hard time finding any talk saying anything about rated R movies.

    As far as teaching kids, I dont have any :) But, the idea has always been so simple to me. See I think Little Miss Sunshine is probably one of the greatest movies I have ever seen, no 'buts' at all, and it was rated R.

    To me the idea is just to be in tune - if the spirit leaves, well, its probably isn't the best idea. I don't think that happens as a hard a fast rule with the rating. I have a BIL who wont watch rated R movies but loves James Bond movies, and while I enjoyed Casino Royale (a different issue all together), most James Bond movies are completly offensive and sexual. So, I thats the problem I have with placing arbitrary lines. The only line should be the Spirit. Check the archives at BCC for good discussions about this.
    posted by Anonymous Veritas at 2/05/2007 01:31:00 PM  

  • The rating systems are so screwy, and subjective. I just can't follow them blindly. Ten ro twenty years ago something that was rated R, would hardly be considered pg/pg13. So that makes it difficult for me to judge. Even some of the newer G movies have references I don't want my kids picking up on. I loved Moulin Rouge, and Chicago too, just for their music/dance, and originality. But ever since the prophet came out and condemned Chicago, I've felt guilty for liking it. I guess I'm just not as good of a person :)

    One thing my DH and I do is subscribe to Blockbusters in the mail movie service. That way we're paying a flat fee for all the movies we watch. And if we end up with one that isn't appropriate, I don't feel like I've wasted my money if we just stop it, or don't finish the story.

    Another thing we do to screen our movies is read why they are rated R. Is it for language (that really bugs me), sexuality (another I avoid), inuendo's (IMO not so bad), or violence (again, not so bad). But that's just me. Some people have more of a problem with violence, and not so much with language, so to each his own.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/05/2007 02:02:00 PM  

  • I've lived in 4 different countries, each with their own rating systems (meaning I didn't always know which movies had US R-rating). My husband went searching for ways to find out about movie content and he came up with these links:





    The first three will break movies down by content so you know how much swearing, nudity, violence, etc are in the movie. Some of them are a bit nitty gritty about things but I have found that it helps me make better movie choices. The last link, Meta Critic, just gives a low-down of what all the critics thought of it, we've found that helps a bit but I tend to use the other sites more.

    I use these websites a lot, especially living overseas. I was shocked at the number of R-rated movies that had ratings of PG or 13 or 15 while living in London England.

    I hope you find the sites useful. Happy movie hunting!
    posted by Blogger Monuk at 2/05/2007 02:11:00 PM  

  • I made it all through high school never watching a rated R movie. My non-member friends were always really cool about it. Then I got married. I don't blame it on my husband at all. It was totally my decision and one that I first made just because I was figuring out my independence. It was then that I would watch pretty much anything. I have seen a handful of R rated movies that I have just loved. But I have seen a lot that were trash. I have seen a lot more PG and PG-13 movie that I would consider trash too. Now I am far more particular about any movie I watch regardless of the rating. It really has to be worth my 2 hours of time.

    The ratings system is obviously not perfect, but I do use it as a first guide. But I also like to read reviews and go to the sites that others have mentioned here that lay out the specifics of movie content. I hate to see/hear gratuitous anything (sex, violence, language) but I'm not bothered if the movie is well done and uses such things to make it's point or tell it's story.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 2/05/2007 02:54:00 PM  

  • I've always followed the R guideline. As an adult I've decided to extend that to edited tv R's too. Especially violence on "edited" movies. I find myself feeling just awful after/during the movies. Yep, some pg-13's are just as bad. I wish I had more will-power to say no, but I guess I just hope that they'll be good!

    I have decided, as far as owning movies goes, that I only want to own those that my kids can see at basically any age that they may have friends over. Like, 10ish+. So if they pop in a movie without me knowing I don't have to worry--did they put in THAT one!!? That's my current philosophy at least...

    So then, what's the point of the first presidency's council on R movies? There are so many different variations on following it--why is it even approached? Do the R viewers have double piercings and date before they're 16 because it's just ok for them? I'm really not accusing, just wondering why the council if we all just do what we thing is right for us anyway. Is there some common denominator that we should all follow? Or are the guidlines to protect the "general population"? I guess a guideline is good for me for now since I'm too lazy to check online to see what questionable content movies have!

    Kage--lucky you to get free movies!! Good luck with the internal debate. :)

    Oh, something else that helps me--I've never felt like my life was missing out on something because I don't watch R movies or because I missed some tv show I'd wanted to see. Life goes on, no big deal. When I realized that years ago it made it easy to not see stuff.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 2/05/2007 05:16:00 PM  

  • I hadn't seen an R rated movie in over 5 years when hubby tricked me into watching one. He neglected to tell me ther ating, knowing I would assume it was PG-13. Don't worry, he got what was coming to him.....
    Anyhow, there are a few R movies we own and a few that I would watch, including "Saving Private Ryan" since it has to do with the roots of my husbands airborne unit, and "Schindlers List" which is about a subject which has largely been set aside for more recent things and I feel it's important to remember.
    There have been many films over the years that I have lamented missing due to their rating, but there are MAYBE a handful that I can remember the names of now. So I obviously didn't miss much the first time around, did I?
    My fil buys R movies and my mil won't watch them. But she just sort of rolls her eyes and says "I wish he wouldn't, but it's his choice" when the subject comes up...I think that's a great way to deal with it
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 2/05/2007 06:13:00 PM  

  • Veritas - I actually just did a quick search on lds.org and a bunch of stuff popped up when I searched "Rated R Movies". Most of the conference addresses seemed to be from Pres. Ezra Taft Benson. There was one named "To the Youth of Noble Birthright" that clearly suggested not watching R rated films (addressed to YM). Anyway, I only searched for about a couple minutes - like Kage - but just FYI, there were a bunch of articles that popped up.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/05/2007 08:55:00 PM  

  • Katie,

    You might find this essay an interesting read. You may not agree with it, but I found his coined terms "liahona saint" and "iron rod saint" a great way to understand how different people understand and live the gospel.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 2/05/2007 10:23:00 PM  

  • I think there is less specific counsel on rated R movies per se from more current leaders for a couple of reasons. One is that everyone knows that bad movies are not limited to those with an R rating. Secondly, in a worldwide church, the R rating won't mean much to those who don't have MPAA ratings on their films. The specific counsel is there and has been, but FTSOY speaks more generally about not watching movies that are violent, immoral or vulgar "in any way." (That phrase hits me hard and makes me think hard.) I've always been pretty conservative on movies and such, but that statement alone has made me want to go much more toward the "watch what my kids can watch" kind of approach. We also gave up on TV altogether (with some help from technical difficulties). :)
    posted by Anonymous m&m at 2/05/2007 11:11:00 PM  

  • carrie, the link is working for me, and I would like to look at that essay, so if you come back, will you re do the link? thanks
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/06/2007 04:29:00 AM  

  • Clean Flicks - come back! I know a lot of people who think clean flicks was dumb, but I really enjoyed it. I got to see all the R-rated "greats" and some of the PG-13 ones without having to deal with the unneccessary stuff.

    I don't know how to make the distinction when it comes to TV. Some of my favorite shows are 24 (R-rated violence maybe) and Desperate Housewives (actually a very clever show - but some dismiss it just because of the name) and I wonder but really don't want to know what they would be rated if it were a movie.

    For me, it's easiest to follow the guidelines the prophets have set for us the way I understand them, instead of trying to make up guidelines that better suit my own personality. I am too weak and would be very liberal with my own guidelines!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 2/06/2007 09:30:00 AM  

  • My family of origin is split between R watchers and non. I am an R watcher. I figure crap is made from G to R--some films are a total waste of time/resources, etc. Ratings don't decide what I want to watch, I do, but I want it to be worth my while and I make informed choices. I would have no problem telling this to the prophet--I feel no shame about it.

    I have no problem with non R watchers, but some people are silly about. I have a sister who will look up ratings in foreign countries and then watch R rated films that, for example, are not R rated in New Zealand. Or my mom occassionally makes arbitrary choices that certain films really shouldn't be rated R. To me, this is silly--you are in or out, but don't be hypocritical or holier than thou about it.

    I am very critical about what my kids watch (still young) and would not watch something while they are awake that I don't want them to see and their TV time is heavily scrutinized. There are tons of G shows I don't want them to see.
    posted by Blogger a spectator at 2/06/2007 12:35:00 PM  

  • It's true, what is the difference between some rated R movies and what is on TV. There's been a lot of debate on how mean American Idol is (especially these beginning episodes). Or how bad reality shows can be in general. And I watch 24 and the violence can get pretty intense. Maybe that is why there isn't much about R rated films from GBH. There is just too much on TV, in magazines, in movies, etc. Maybe it's more effective to give counsel on entertainment in general and being in tune with the spirit while making decisions on what you are watching/reading.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/06/2007 12:50:00 PM  

  • I have a hard copy of "What the Church Means.." and it says that it was originally given as a Sacrament Meeting talk.

    My LDS roomate gave me a copy of this talk when I was living in DC after college and not regularly attending church. It completely changed my perspective and helped me find "my place" in the church.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 2/06/2007 04:12:00 PM  

  • thanks Carrie, the link worked, now I just need to find a few minutes to finish reading it....I read the first 10 paragraphs or so though, and it looks interesting.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/06/2007 04:22:00 PM  

  • I think Beth hit it right on.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 2/06/2007 06:26:00 PM  

  • Carrie,
    Wow, that article helps tremendously--in more ways than I feel comfortable explaining in such a public arena. Maybe we can chat sometime--it'd be nice to talk about. So interesting. Thanks. Jen, I can see how that would be so helpful to you.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 2/07/2007 10:31:00 AM  

  • I got to see Little Miss Sunshine edited on an airplane, woot! I was so glad I got to, because I am for sure a no R girl. Twas fabulous edited, and I like the feeling of safety of watching something that isn't going to make me all queasy. Dang, I did love cleanflicks, but our other option is the TV Guardian - bleeps profanity on TV AND movies. Way cool - http://www.editmymovies.com/tv_guardian_summary.html it's an option at least!
    posted by Anonymous reva at 2/07/2007 11:15:00 AM  

  • oops, that link was http://www.editmymovies.com/tv_guardian_summary.html
    posted by Anonymous reva at 2/07/2007 11:20:00 AM  

  • hrm, one more try! TV Guardian - Sorry!
    posted by Anonymous reva at 2/07/2007 11:26:00 AM  

  • I've watched a few rated R movies (Something About Mary, Braveheart), but I have since given them up. Essentially I decided that every time I watch a rated R movie (or even some PG-13 movies for that matter)I am rationalizing away some of my standards. Hmmm...what questionable content am I willing to tolerate for the sake of some "great acting" or an "uplifting message"...Oh sure, there's a lot of bad language, or a lot of violence or, some nudity, but the acting is GREAT!

    Is a movie really THAT important? I don't think so. I know there are a lot of rated are movies that people will tell you, "Oh, that really shouldn't have been rated R." So what? Is it really going to kill me not to see it? NO.
    posted by Anonymous Shimmerbeetle at 2/08/2007 10:47:00 AM  

  • Well. Following the prophet is always a very very good idea. And never, ever a bad idea.
    Even if the movie is Super Great.
    When we start to justify things, well. We can find ourselves justifying away many more decisions that seem small, but in the end wind us up in a place we never imagined that we could ever find ourselves.
    * * * *
    posted by Blogger hannah at 2/12/2007 07:53:00 PM  

  • Seriously, when is the last time that a general authority or the prophet has asked us not to watch R-rated movies? This rule has not been mentioned by anyone in authority in decades.

    The one and only prophet who asked us not to watch R-rated movies was Spencer Kimball. I have to admit that he was quite insistent about it. After Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson became the prophet. He did not pick up that rule.

    After Benson, Howard W. Hunter became the prophet. He did not preach the movie prohibition.

    After Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley became the prophet and he did not warn against R-rated movies either.

    There can be no doubt that there are good and bad movies. I wouldn't leave that determination to an industry trade group. That's not a smart way to make choices.

    Instead of living off borrowed oil, we have to exercise our own judgment. That's what movie reviews are for. God has given us a brain. Let's use it.
    posted by Blogger Hellmut at 2/12/2007 07:58:00 PM  

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