Sneaking into R-rated films is nothing new. I remember the first time I snuck into an R-rated movie. It was 1985, I was 15-years-old and I wanted to see the sexually charged film, Mischief, with my friend. We tried to get in and the guy at the box office wouldn’t let us. So we bought two tickets to the lethargic PG film, Mrs. Soffel.
To this day I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for the grace of Jesus that I would have to watch Mrs. Soffel over and over again in hell some day!
Renting films was another story all together. We knew the “cool” guy at the local video store and he would rent us all kinds of R-rated movies (yeah, I was prone to mischief, no pun intended).
It’s 25 years later and kids are still kids. They still want to see junk (pun intended), but the main difference is that there’s a lot more trash to choose from (and from a variety of easy locations). Maybe that’s why teenagers voted for so many raunchy choices for Fox’s Teen Choice Awards this past Sunday.
Hangover 2 actor Ed Helms didn’t hold anything back in his acceptance speech for the “Choice Hissy Fit in a Movie” award:
“Oh my God! I am so grateful to all you teenagers who bought a ticket for Kung Fu Panda and snuck into Hangover 2. I want you to know that I plan on having many more hissy fits in Hangovers 3 through 17. Thank you!”
The evening was full of raunchy media choices; and for parents, a realization that their kids are watching and listening to a bunch of stuff that they’re not supposed to.
Let’s set movies aside for a moment and take a quick glimpse at music. Ashton Kutcher, in his acceptance speech for the sexually charged film, No Strings Attached, (one of the many films released this summer providing a deteriorating view of relationships), thought it would be fun to sing the lyrics to Katy Perry’s song, Teenage Dream. I’m amused at how often young people will say they “don’t listen to the lyrics,” because that arena was full of teens and tweens singing the lyrics… word-for-word:
Let’s go all the way tonight
No regrets, just love…
That’s probably a good summary of the evening, which provided an eye-opening glimpse into pop-youth culture: kids watching what they shouldn’t be watching and listening to what they shouldn’t be tuning in to. It was a little difficult to watch at times, especially seeing shots of Mark Wahlberg and David Beckham, each with their pre-pubescent kids sitting right next to them absorbing everything.
David R. Smith and I provide three observations of what we noticed through this pop-youth culture porthole in our article about the 2011 Teen Choice Awards here.
Leave your thoughts
- Do you know what the young people in your youth group are watching?
- How can we dialogue with them about these media choices?
- Can we use some of these movies, TV shows and songs to springboard discussion (with resources like these free music discussion starters)?
Posted on August 10, 2011