Date night at the movies – The Hangover

I will not exhaust you with yet another positive review of The Hangover.
Yes, it was hilarious and utterly insulting and it made my wife at least ask me – “Is that what YOU do when you go to Vegas for the weekend???”

Now, Mormons are highly discouraged from watching movies with an R rating. This “counsel” has been made clear by many leaders of the church and hammered into everyone’s mind effectively.

It really sucks when I watch an R-rated movie and have no one with whom to discuss it, therefore I will take this opportunity to rant…

One of the issues I have with this rule is this:
The church is using a highly inconsistent and controversial rating system by the MPAA as part of their moral guide book.
It’s confusing to many members just like the “hot drink” issue in the Word of “Wisdom.”

Another problem can be exemplified in this quote from Elder James E. Faust:

Parental hypocrisy can make children cynical and unbelieving of what they are taught at home. For instance, when parents attend movies they forbid their children to see, parental credibility is diminished. If children are expected to be honest, parents must be honest.

I completely agree with Faust that we must be honest with our children and I admit I will not be showing a screening of Pulp Fiction to my 6-year-old anytime soon. But I also understand that we live in reality and he will be exposed to it soon enough. By pretending these things don’t exist, I will be missing many opportunities to address important issues with him in an honest and sensible way.

My son has heard some bad language from the neighbor’s blaring radio and he knows that there are certain adult words he’s not allowed to say. He knows why he’s not allowed to say them and he has never been heard repeating them (and you know kids repeat everything they hear).
He also likes to burp at the dinner table. I join him sometimes in a chorus along with our 2-year-old. To my wife’s disgust, they’ve been exposed to really bad manners by moi. But they both understand the rules inside and outside our home. They understand their actions reside within a framework of acceptance and we strive to state the rules as clearly as we can.

But why can’t adults make their own minds about watching movies? The church doesn’t tell you shouldn’t watch Fox News (which we all know is intellectual junk)! The church doesn’t tell you not to attend sporting events… I hear more F-BOMBS during a football game then in most rated-R movies. You don’t hear the prophet counseling against hockey or the UFC (cage fighting)!!!
But a grown ass man can’t go watch Scent of a Woman because his or her ears can’t hear naughty words??? Give me a break!

8 comments to Date night at the movies – The Hangover

  • Niels

    I am from Denmark. Over there, we don’t have the same rating system, but I am careful to be aware of what kind of movie I am watching. There are some movies like “the Patriot” which I thought was very good in showing what is worth standing up for and fighting for. I think it is a very appropriate movie for Americans to watch to be more loving of their country and appreciative of what people had to sacrifice in order to enjoy the freedoms, like freedom of religion. It is rated R. I think good judgement can be used rather than the rating system. I didn’t think the Hangover was an appropriate movie, so I walked out. That is the type of example I hope my kids will follow.

  • May

    You said it yourself. The prophets COUNSEL members to avoid watching R-rated movies based on content: not solely on language, etc. There are members who heed to the counsel, yes, and there are many, MANY members who do not.

    I, personally, try to avoid rated R movies. But this is based on MY own choice. The last R rated movie that I went to go see (I believe it was that movie about Pelham 123) was ridiculous. Based on the previews alone I thought it would be a good movie. Obviously, being rated R, I went into the theater knowing that there was going to be more than the average amoung of bad language used, and violent, etc. While the overall plot was good, I was not happy at all with the F word being used every other word. Practically literally. I hadn’t seen a rated r movie before that in a while, and I don’t intend to watch another in a looooong time.

    R-Rated movies tend to glorify language, and excessive violence, and language, etcetc. Frankly, I don’t need that. Even when I wasn’t active in the church, even when I doubted, I still didn’t want to see all that stuff. Its just pathetic.

    What’s sad, though, is that so much of that is leaking into PG13 movies now. They are becoming more and more violent, more and more gorey. More than likely, a movie thats PG13 today would have been rated R in a heartbeat, no questions asked.

  • Anna

    What about watching The Passion of the Christ?? You guys call yourselves Christians but many Mormons I know can’t watch it because it is rated “r”, there are a lot of movies that are rated “r” that do not say the f word 3,000. Please get some common sense, Phelam 123??? How does that compare to any other good rated “r” movies, such as The Passion of the Christ, The Patriot, amongst others?? letting a Church control your life that much is simply not right!!! And I don’t care if you say The Church doesn’t tell you can or can’t do, because point blank, I am yet to meet a Mormon who drinks and/or watches rated “r” movies!! ridiculous!!! I give you MY WORD OF WISDOM “Stop being a member of a Cult and enjoy life a little” I promise you, God will not punish you for contaminating your body/soul, as long as you are not a junkie!!

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