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PG-13 is R-rated Experience

October 01, 2004

I went to the movies last Friday night in La Cañada, expecting to be entertained and amused by the magic of Hollywood. Instead, I was embarrassed and frustrated by the juvenile delinquency of our youth.

Anticipating that the only annoyance during the evening would come from the unwanted, but now routine pre-movie TV-type commercials, I was appalled at what else I saw "advertised"? a disgraceful exhibition of poor manners, foul language, disregard for others, and reckless, immature behavior from a group of 30 or so young teenagers that appeared to be dumped in the theatre as a proxy for parental supervision or babysitting.

It was bad enough that this horrible exhibition was in full form during the movie trailers, but it continued into the feature and only subsided marginally when one or two adults would succumb and complain to the management. Just when things seemed as bad as they were going to get, the evening got worse because of the self-appointed policing action of a slightly older yet even less mature youngster yelling shut up while including expletives worse than what most parents fear from Hollywood's offerings or rap music lyrics.

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The movie was rated PG-13, our youth contributed to an R-rated experience. Perhaps we need a rating system to warn against this type of exhibition, not from the movie, but from our youth. In this community we have blue ribbon schools, superior real estate value, and commitment to so many great values, but based on at least this one experience, these "children" indicate a parenting influence that is sub par.

I recall the original controversy around locating a movie theatre in La Cañada. Parents were concerned about the possibility of attracting the wrong crowd and perhaps anticipating a prevalence of R-rated showings. Friday night I experienced both; unfortunately the "wrong crowd" came from our own community and it was this crowd of local youth, not Hollywood, which was responsible for the R-rated material.

Jack Horne, Jr.

La Cañada

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