A new motion picture called "House Calls" will open in the Washington area on Friday. Under the Motion Picture Association's rating system, "House Calls" is "PG." Parental guidance may be in order.
A "G" movie is supposed to be as pure as they come - the kind to which you can take your maiden aunt and children under 6.
The next rung up (down?) is supposed to be the "PG" picture. This is good clean fun for most of the family, but it might possibly contain a few things that parents might want to think about before they approve it for their children. The official definition is. "This firm contains material that may not be suitable for pre-teenagers."
May not be suitable for children under 13?
Hah! What a rating system!
The "House Calls" attributes that parents might want to think about are these:
It is what is known these days as a "romantic comedy." It deals with sex and the performance of sex acts - not incidentally or occasionally but constantly and unrelentingly.
The surgeon's wife died three months ago, so now he is single again, and attempting to set a North American record for one-night stands. An endless supply of partners keeps him busy night after night. The plot indicates that the modern female thinks any man in the surgeon's tax bracket is cute, and a cute partner makes random fornication socially acceptable.
Mature viewers understand that if a playwright is to establish a basis for his humor, his audiences must accept the plot's premise that this is how things really are in this time and place. I am not sure what conclusions about community sex norms will be drawn by younger viewers. If you are a parent who does know, please take over and start offering guidance.
Viewers can tell at once which female will be the heroine of "House Calls." It will be the one who criticizes the surgeon for caring more about money than patients.
But she, too, beds down with him for a night. In the morning she tells him it's been a lot of fun and no harm has been done because they are, after all, "two consenting adults." Later he lies to her because he doesn't want her to know he has been with another woman. The lovely lady cuts him off at the knees with a dainty barnyard expletive sometimes used by hard-boiled editors to challenge the accuracy of statements made to them.
In short, "House Calls" may not be the sort of picture you want your children to see, especially if they are under 13. The MPA says you might want to think it over.
Is there really a question as to how the parent of a 13-year-old wound decide this issue if he could preview a film's plot and language?
This consenting adult found "House Calls" funny. However, some of the language used by the actors embarrassed me, even though I am safely past the age of 13. I felt uneasy because I was accompanied by a lady I don't really know very well.We've been dating for only 45 years.
The humor in "House Calls" could have been achieved with far less gutter language, but I do not advocate censorship. Even "romantic comedies" should be available - under accurate labels.
And there's the rub. I have a feeling that labels won't become more accurate until the Motion Picture Association gets some guidance from parents who think the present rating system needs a teeny bit of improvement.