Monday, September 12, 2005

Okay, somebody please tell me why I thought THAT was a good idea

Sometimes an already bad idea just gets worse in the execution.

The newspaper said that "Herbie: Fully Loaded" started at 7:35 at the cheap theatres. Or at least that's the way Julie read it. When we arrived at the theatre at 7:34, we discovered that it actually started at 6:35. That should have been my first clue that we would have been better off going home. But no, the girls were pumped about seeing a movie, and I didn't feel like putting up with three disappointed kids moping at home, so we looked for an alternative. The only possibility was Bad News Bears - it had started 15 minutes earlier, so we'd probably only miss the trailers. Why not? I still remember the original when I was a kid - harmless fun, a good moral, and a feel good ending. What could be wrong with THAT?

Big mistake. BIG mistake. I should have recognized the mistake the moment we walked into the theatre and heard the first string of obscenities out of Billy Bob Thornton's mouth. I should have run for the hills and taken the kids with me. But NO-oh, I'm too much of a wimp to put up with the protestations of three unhappy children. Silly me.

I can only say - WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING when they made this movie? Just WHO were they catering to - some sorely mistaken grown-ups who thought a grown-up version of a childhood classic might be fun? I don't think I've heard that much swearing since the last Lethal Weapon movie! Billy Bob played the coach, a washed-up, drunk, former ball player turned rat exterminator, and if a sentence out of his mouth didn't contain the word "hell" than it was sure to contain "shit" or "damn". (Here's a classic line - "You guys look like the last shit I took.") And thrown in between those words was a healthy smattering of "ass" and "tits". Not just the WORD tits, but the real thing, just barely covered in string bikinis - particularly in the scene where he takes the team to HOOTERS! And then there was the fact that the team was sponsored by a strip club - "Bo-peeps". And if Billy Bob had been the ONLY one swearing, it would have been one thing, but I really don't need to watch a bunch of pre-teens using that kind of language when I'm sitting there with my kids! Then there was the final scene - Billy Bob handing out non-alcoholic beer to everyone on the team. 'Cause, ya know, everyone needs to hear a three-year-old proclaim, at the top of her voice, "Mom - those kids are drinking BEER!"

I'm really not a prude, but there was just no POINT to that movie. It certainly wasn't meant for young children, and I really can't see the redeeming quality for adults either.

You know it's a shining moment when your nine-year-old daughter comes out of the theatre and says "Hey mom - I learned a new swear word. Shit bucket!"

Oh, and the next time I suggest that taking a three-year-old to a movie - especially a three year old with the attention span of a bored mosquito and the belief that multiple visits to the washroom is a good cure for boredom - somebody PLEASE give me a smack up-side the head!

I later found out that on one of those multiple trips to take Maddie to the washroom (she LOVED the little kids' toilet, and I've learned better than to take a chance when she says she has to pee, so I gritted my teeth and took her each time she asked) that while I was out of the theatre, Billy Bob hopped into the sack with one of the team moms. (Apparently, you don't see anything, but it was obvious enough for a nine-year-old to know what was going on. She almost whispered, when she told me - somewhat guiltily - that they had "S-E-X".) If I HAD been in the theatre at that moment, and didn't just hear about it on the ride home, that would have been the moment I would have hauled all three of them OUT of that theatre, despite the moans and groans I would have had to endure.

The moral of the story? Well, I guess it was that sometimes, even washed up drunks can inspire a losing team to almost victory. What my kids learned? Well, that drinking alchohol after a game is fun and rewarding, that "shit bucket" is a good swear word, that over-sexed groupies hang out with washed-up drunk former ball players, and that flipping people the finger is a good way to work out your aggression.

Oh yeah, it was a stellar night. Shoulda stayed home and washed the dishes.


Anonymous said...

Yikes yikes yikes. I feel for you.

Stephanie said...

Oh dear. As soon as I read "Bad News Bears" I knew where this story was going. I wondered too when I saw the trailers: who the heck are they tailoring this movie for? It's not for kids. And why would adults watch it?

Poor poor you. Hopefully it gave you some teachable moments with your kids.

Sue said...

Oh, how frustrating. What a nuisance the paper printed the wrong time for the Herbie film. We're not a family who makes rules, but we did have a principle to stick by movie guidelines when the boys were younger. This one is rated 12 in the UK, which means it's unsuitable for children under 12 (although I think they're allowed into a cinema with a parent, unlike the higher classifications) but in general we didn't let ours see any 12 films until they were that age. In retrospect I think it probably worked out well, but I don't know what I'd have done in your circumstances. Probably the same as you did... I hope the experience lent to some good discussions about why some movies aren't good for small children to see!

ccap said...

Ignore my comment from the previous post. All I can say now is... well, nothing, I'm rather speechless. I'll bet you're cringing knowing that the girls are now telling their friends at school about their movie experience. I'm so very sorry.

Anvilcloud said...

And they wonder why movie attendance keeps falling. I really hate all of that silly, lack-of-purpose swearing in movies. Really hate it.

Linda said...

What my kids learned? Well, that drinking alchohol after a game is fun and rewarding, that "shit bucket" is a good swear word, that over-sexed groupies hang out with washed-up drunk former ball players, and that flipping people the finger is a good way to work out your aggression.

That's awful. But I believe that your kids are smarter than that. I think they learned that those kinds of things do not make for a happy and contented life. They know what's good for them.