My husband and I recently ventured to our church last Sunday evening, for a free showing of the movie, Courageous. The movie was about a group of four men. Three were police officers, one man a construction worker. All fathers, all examining themselves at various points in the movie, to see if they were being the best fathers they could be to their children. Tragedies struck these four men in the course of the movie, and many people in the sanctuary, where the movie was played, were crying, myself and my husband included. Courageous was a tear jerker, and it showed the pain and sorrow that people go through when tragedies strike. One man of the four made a bad decision, and his consequences to come were hinted at near the movie’s end. It didn’t have a happily forever after ending, but it did have an ending of hope.
I’ve been seeing ads for another movie about a father, starring George Clooney, called The Descendents. One evening, I noticed an ad for the movie, and it showed a caring father, trying to do right by his children, as his wife lay comatose in a hospital due to a boating accident. Near the end of the commercial, I noticed that the movie was rated R. I wondered why did this movie, about such a sad and serious subject, need an R rating? The commercial I saw depicted nothing to hint that an R rating was needed. Being curious, I looked up The Descendents and from my readings, I found out that it definitely needed the R rating due to the bad language, sexually charged topics, drug and alchohol abuse it depicted.
Hollywood, from articles I have read, hasn’t had a banner year at the box office. I am sure Red Box, Netflix Streaming, the internet, and ye old video/dvd store have all done their part to chip away at the numbers of people who go to the theatres to see a movie. However, I also think that if Hollywood would really pay attention to the movies that do better than most at the box office, they would realize that they are the movies that are rated G, PG, and PG-13. Courageous, it was recently reported, produced by Sherwood Pictures, has sold more dvds than Moneyball, The Ides of March, and Abduction. If Hollywood would have made The Descendents without the gratuitous, offensive material, earning it a PG-13 rating, it would probably have done much better at the box office than it has done. Hollywood, learn a lesson from Sherwood Pictures: gratuitous, offensive language and actions by one’s actors are not needed to convey the theme of a movie! You just might see a rise in those box office receipts! Less R, more G, PG, PG-13, please!