Not Your Mother’s Movies

I have returned from Chicago in one piece.  A little frayed around the edges, but otherwise intact. 

However, I have a story to tell.  It’s a cautionary tale, as a matter of fact, and it goes like this…

I picked out some movies at the library for Youngest Son to watch on the five-hour car ride to and from Chicago.  (These movies were, of course, different from the other kids’ movies – you can’t make everyone happy with the same thing in my family.  No, that not the cautionary tale – I’m getting there).  Luckily, the library had lots from which to choose including a childhood favorite, The Bad News Bears.

No, not The Bad News Bears from 2005 –  the one with Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal made in 1976.  I can still remember watching it with my older brother, Ron.  We happily sat and ate the popcorn that our mom hid in her purse and drank pop while the Bad News Bears attempted to learn how to play baseball and yell at each other.  Good times. 

So, with Youngest Son’s movie choices made, I enjoyed my ride to Chicago.  I put my ear buds in and didn’t pay much attention to what was going on in the backseat.  After all, this was a movie from my youth and I already knew all about it, right?


I started paying attention to The Bad Language Bears when Youngest Son told me he was going to watch it again, stating that it was hilarious.  I was feeling pretty good about myself – I sure can pick ’em!  Then I started listening.  Wait a minute… did that kid just say “bullshit?”  Did Mr. Buttermaker just tell a bunch of elementary school kids to “Shut the hell up”? Did Tatem O’Neal say that her friend was on the pill?  WERE THOSE JUST RACIAL SLURS??????  OH MY GOSH – who picked out this movie? 

Suddenly, I was back at that movie theater with my older brother.  Hang on – was my mom there?  Did she just drop us off?  Who did they make this movie for anyhow? 

“Let me see that movie case”, I said.  Youngest Son rolled his eyes.  “You aren’t going to make me turn this off, are you?”  Too late for that – this was a double feature.  I verified that the movie was rated PG for “profanity and use of alcohol”.  Use of alcohol?  Are you kidding me? There’s a scene at the end where the entire team, consisting of 10 and 11-year-olds, is drinking beer and another where Mr. Buttermaker is completely trashed.  Profanity?  The only word they left out was the F-bomb. 

I think what amazed me most about this movie is that I don’t remember it being offensive at all.  In fact, I thought it was hilarious too. 

Was it that the 70’s were a wild and crazy time?  Or, is it that we are wayyyyy too P.C. now?  What’s going on here?  One thing is for certain – The Bad News Bears would never make it to theaters today.   There would be parent groups protesting all over the place.   It’s a wonder I’m still here to blog about it today.  

Speaking of bad influences, I once read an article that said that the first two seasons of Sesame Street carry a “warning label”, stating that these episodes are for “grown-ups” only.   Oscar the Grouch was really nasty, Cookie Monster was out of control with his improper nutrition and, horror of all horrors, there were nude Muppets.  I loved Sesame Street. 

Oh, and by the by, this blog post was brought to you by the letters ‘W’, ‘T’, and ‘F’ and the numbers ‘666’. 

Sorry, I can’t help myself.  I had bad influences as a child.  Don’t ask me to recommend a movie to your children.


12 thoughts on “Not Your Mother’s Movies

  1. Ha, ha! I had an oddly similar incident last week w/ the movie Goonies! Let’s just say I didn’t remember the kids talked that way! however, the scene in which Chunk describes making everyone in the theater barf is a classic!

  2. Wow – I don’t remember all that stuff either…and to think I thought your blog was going to be all about how youngest son disliked your movie picks! Love you ending! 😉

  3. My Girl Scout Cadette troop needed to watch a movie set in Chicago for a badge and I thought “Adventures in Babysitting” would be a good choice for the 7th and 8th grade girls. I even checked and It was rated PG-13. Too bad I didn’t remember the babysitter using the F-Bomb once. I was under the mistaken impression that one use of that word equaled an R rating. Unfortunately, not.

    • Oops – what is it about trips to Chicago and inappropriate movies??? I think you feel worse when it’s not your kid that you’ve exposed to something that’s not okay to watch!

  4. Sounds like we’re all in the same vibe right now. My daughter is a big fan of pop music — top 40 stuff, that I don’t really listen to. But the hubby just came in the other day having a breakdown because she told him “I let” her listen to what he informed me was obscene lyrics. I thought about it and reminded him of the music we listened to, back when we were her age. I remember in 3rd grade knowing the movie “Grease” by heart — remember Rizzo thinking she was pregnant and Danny doing a humping move when singing “we made out under the dock”? How about Ted Nugent’s song “Cat Scratch Fever” that my parents let my brothers play ad nauseum — it’s about a guy learning how to please the girls. He thinks we need to censure everything she hears, but I’m thinking I didn’t turn out that badly (he did marry me without a gun to his head after all). It just seems to me that the kids who seem to behave the worst, and the ones who have the most difficulty adjusting to things like middle school, are the ones who were the most “protected.”

    • Well said and good points! I LOVED “Grease” and, quite frankly, didn’t quite “get” all of the inuendos back when I was 12 years old. I remember my 8th grade pom team wanting to do a routine to “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel, which was about a young man wanting “Virginia” to lose her virginity with him instead of remaining a nice, Catholic girl. My pom coach read us the lyrics and told us flatly, NO WAY. We just thought it was a fun song – we didn’t care if “Catholic girls start much too late.”

      And, speaking of protected kids, when I went to Michigan State, I saw more than one sheltered young adult go bonkers at the freedoms that they had found. I often wondered if their parents might have done things differently if they knew how they would react to be set loose.

      Incidently, your hubby is right about a lot of the lyrics these days – my daughter listens to hip-hop (and therefore I do too). They’re pretty much all laid out – not much left to the imagination. I think that’s where the parents pull the kid aside and have the “just because you listen to this music doesn’t mean that I have to approve of what they’re saying” lecture. I did that already.

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