Sunday, December 28, 2008

Marley and Me and Marley and Me

(May contain information that to some people may be considered spoilers.)

My daughter has been obsessed with the movie Marley and Me ever since she saw the first trailer for it. What's better than a movie in which a main character has your name? Weeks ago, we bought the junior version of the book, Marley, A Dog Like No Other. The last week or so, every time a commercial comes on she squeals like a 60s teenager watching the Beatles.

Today was finally the day. We went with her best friend and her family to see the movie. In many ways, it was what I expected. I laughed. I cried. There were many scenes that reminded me of our dog, Bob (aka Robert Otis). There was more of the "human" side of the story than in the junior version of the book. I can't compare them because I haven't read the actual book. I suspect that the mischief Marley got into was actually downplayed for the movie.

What I didn't expect, though, in a PG rated movie--that the film production company had to know every dog loving girl in the United States was going to want to see--was the sex and violence.

Sex and violence you ask? Okay, it wasn't like a Quentin Tarentino film. However, there were some things I wasn't too sure about. Jen and John, Marley's owners decide to have a baby and we get to see that it involves some activity in the bedroom. We also get to see them take their clothes off to go skinny dipping. These scenes are really nothing compared to what you will find in your average PG-13 movie, but they were still more overt than I, personally, would prefer. My last quibble is one scene where a neighbor is attacked and stabbed during a home robbery. We never see the attack, but we hear Marley barking, a scream, and then John rushing outside and helping the neighbor who is holding her side that is bleeding. She states that "he" threatened to stab her if she screamed, but she screamed anyway. Oh... I was just not really comfortable with this bit of real world danger popping up in the cute doggy movie.

I don't know. Maybe I am overreacting. I certainly don't think my daughter suffered any lasting damage. I do wish I knew about the scenes beforehand so I could have prepared her for them. I also joked with my friend that maybe we would not need to have "The Talk" with our kids about how you make a baby, after all.

What do you think? Have you seen the movie? Do you think my concerns are valid?

10 comments:

Subspace Beacon said...

Hmmm...well maybe you should get some have some 'scripted' answers at the ready in case she asks some questions.

Mel said...

Yikes.

Well...guess that opens a door for a conversation or two.

I tended to be an over communicative parent--we talked and talked and talked.
But PG movies were out until they really DID hit 13.
k.....mighta been a bit overprotective, too.....

gretchen from lifenut said...

I can see your points---when you go to a family movie, you have certain expectations regarding what you and your kids will see.

Then again, in this day and age it's nice the couple was at least married!

Beck said...

We are INTENSELY strict. I check out all films on commonsensemedia.org first, so that I can judge whether they're appropriate for my kids before we say they can watch them. Here's their link for Marley and Me - http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/marley-me (most parents are recommending it for kids over the age of 13).

Mary-LUE said...

I used to be better about monitoring movies with my son. I fretted and read reviews, etc. With Colin, it was always because of the push to see movies that were rated above his age... Lord of the Rings, Star Wars 3, etc. It has been different for Marley so I hadn't worried about it as much. Obviously, I need to pay better attention.

I read the Common Sense Media reviews. I was surprised that their review didn't mention the stabbing although some of the parental reviews did.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had reservations. Thanks for sharing the link Beck!

John Ross said...

Ok, been rolling this around in my head since reading yours this morning.

I don't know...

I wind up letting my kid(s) watch a lot of stuff i would call PG-13-LIGHT. AND THEN I TRY TO GIVE HIM/THEM PARENTAL GUIDANCE.

OTHERWISE, I'm just not comfortable trying to give advise about chld rearing...Good luck with that.

Shari said...

I can totally see why those parts made you uncomfortable. Brent and I aren't prudish, but the older we get, the more we've talked about really protecting our kids from as much wordly stuff as possible. Not keeping them in a bubble, but just avoiding as much of that as possible. I know it's going to be difficult because it seems like most parents just don't care anymore.

Lindsey said...

I haven't seen the movie (but want to so badly!!!) but I have heard other people say the same thing, and my MIL said that on the local news a newscaster said that it wasn't a movie for young kids. But how can a kid resist those cute puppy scenes they put in the previews?

Aliki said...

You know, for about 5 minutes I thought about taking L. to see the film. He watched a trailer online with me and laughed so hard. He is a movie phobe and doesn't like animated "unreal" movies, so he gravitates toward real films, and funny ones. I'm so glad I didn't take him, though.

No, I don't think you're overreacting. I would have been upset about those elements, too. We're pretty conservative about what our kids are exposed to, and there is so much unnecessary violence/sex in movies these days.

Kristi said...

That is completely NOT overreacting! The violence bothers me much more than the sex or nudity though and I think it should be clearly stated to movie-goers w/kids. The sex scenes cause confusion (and ASTONISHMENT! lol) but the violent scenes cause real fear and nightmares. Not cool...