In the UK we have six ratings for films: U, PG, 12A, 15, 18 and 18R. I have some personal issues with the 12A rating but that’s a story for another day. Instead, the 15 rating is the subject of my current despair.
Now , I don’t have a problem with the rating itself. You need content to fit in between wholesome family viewing and hardcore action/sexual imagery. No it’s more the viewers I have a problem with. I currently work at a cinema and it’s been a busy week with the release of Hangover 2 with everyone and their mother trying to see it as soon as possible. Now, The Hangover has gained a high status for it’s drunken nonsense so obviously dozen of under 15yr olds came flooding the cinema trying to get tickets, giving abuse and generally being an nuisance because I’m having to ID the lot of them. However, even this isn’t my problem or at least, not the whole of it. Gaining access to a film when you’re underaged is like a right of passage. I remember going to see Sweeney Todd (18) when I was only 17. In all honesty, no one was going to stop me from seeing that cast in a musical directed by Tim Burton *swoon*.
So I have no real problem with the rating; it keeps out the screaming children, the underagers are annoying but I can’t blame them for trying to sneak in. Instead, it’s the parents and other guardians who buy their children tickets. I’m sorry but you cannot complain about media images influencing child violence and behaviour and then completely disregard the age ratings! That’s not how it works. There are all these studies and surveys where parents and scientists are looking for evidence that violent and sexual images are damaging their childrens’ innocence. By taking in your impressionable kids to see a 15 certificate you are perpetuating this popular myth as well as the “Blame the Parents” idealism. Well done you.
Now, I’m not unreasonable. As I said before, I went to see films underage and my parents were okay with me seeing certain films when they knew I was mature enough to understand it. Instead the thing that really irks me about these parents taking their children from 12 years of age to see films like The Hangover; isn’t that super awkward? There is a pile of nonsense in Hangover 2 from questionable conversation to visible futanari. So why are you going on a family outing to this film? How do you look your daughter in the eye after seeing that film together; as a teenager, why are you wanting to see that film with your mum?
On Tuesday night, a young girl sneaked past our defences and was in the screen watching Hangover 2 with her mother. The girl could not have been older than 12, 13 at a push. I noticed her when checking the screen and thought she look a little young but wasn’t bothered. Until she decided to hide behind her bag of crisps. On a later occasion when she’d obviously finished with her snack she hid behind her hands. Why are you doing this? I can see you hiding, it doesn’t make you invisible. I mean, if you’re not old enough to know to look like you belong when you’re somewhere you’re not then you really should be watching these films! I did wonder if she was hiding her gaze from the screen, considering the age of the child and the contents of the film. Maybe I’m a huge prude but at that age I would’ve been cringing something awful simply because I’d feel the presence of my parents or guardian heavily when watching the film.
I don’t know. In anycase, please stop trying to take your children into a rated 15 film unless your wanting an awkward journey home; and kids, stop coming to my cinema without ID. Honestly, I generally feel much better when you prove me wrong and prove that you are 15 or over.
See you at the kiosk.
note: when I say the Hangover is full of nonsense I don’t necessarily say this as a bad thing, more a general blanket term for the incidents within the film. Which are nonsense. =]