Parent in Training: Depend on Drama

It is possible to make a movie that is exciting, artistically enriching and suitable for most anyone to watch.
by Jim Fair | Source:
It is possible to make a movie that is exciting, artistically enriching and suitable for most anyone to watch. Master and Commander, the Far Side of the World is the most recent example. It is a great story, masterfully told, with brilliant special effects that put the viewer in the middle of a 19th century naval conflict.

More impressive, Master and Commander manages to do this without running through an entire dictionary of profanity, without nudity, without gratuitous violence and (honest) without sex. It isn´t the first film to be exciting and worthwhile for darn near anyone. Others were Lawrence of Arabia, Ben Hur and most anything staring John Wayne.

Unfortunately, there are so many examples of movies that could have been exciting, could have depended on the drama of a fine story well told, but contaminated the effort with profanity and/or gratuitous sex and/or graphic violence. One of my favorite examples is Cliffhanger. It is a movie about mountain climbers, with scenes of incredible drama and tension. People dangle over chasms, crawl up rock walls and chop through walls of ice. Unfortunately, the excitement is interspersed with disgusting profanity and senseless graphic violence. A kid-friendly thriller deteriorated to an R-rating.

Pearl Harbor should have been a movie for the entire family, a reminder of our nation´s history and the valor of its soldiers and sailors. Instead, the movie was reduced to a strange love triangle with implications not appropriate for children to view.

Even a movie like Notting Hill could have been a charmer for the whole family. The essence of the story was a glamorous movie star falling in love with a bookshop owner. The story didn´t depend on people sleeping around, but the sexual content made it inappropriate for younger viewers.

Hollywood, is it too much to ask for a good story, told in a truthful and wholesome manner?

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