Dear MPAA,

I don’t need to know the rating of a movie to decide who in the family can see it. I can tell from a movie preview if it is appropriate for my children. I don’t need to know what Marley & Me is rated to know that it will make my sensitive children cry. The preview for Coraline made it very clear that the movie was too scary for small children. The current ratings system does make my life easier in one way. My children know that if it not G or PG, they won’t even ask to see it. They’ll whine and beg for other things, but they know not to waste their energy asking to see movies with the wrong ratings. So, good job on that. Now, let’s talk about how you are NOT helping me. I need a ratings based on how much the movie is going to make me cry. I think we are the last people in this country to see Slumdog Millionaire. I heard repeatedly that it had a happy ending and that’s a hard thing to find in movies lately, so I sat back and watched Slumdog. I cried the entire movie! Sure, it’s a really well told story and worthy of all the awards that it won, but the things that happened in that movie were tragic. Movies need some sort of hankie rating system. Tears of laughter, like Mamma Mia, don’t require any hankies. Watery eyes, like Sweeney Todd, could be a single hankie movie. One emotional scene, like in Bridge to Terabithia, could be a two hankie movie. Multiple sad scenes or an suffocatingly tragic life for the characters, like Slumdog Miilionaire, would be a three hankie movie. Movies that end with tears still rolling down your face, bloodshot eyes and post-movie bouts of weepiness, like Schindler’s List, need to have four hankie warnings in blinking words and symbols. For the sanity of our significant others and children, please warn us ahead of time. I need to know how many tissues to have within reach and proper hydration nearby.


5 thoughts on “Dear MPAA,

  1. I, too, wish someone would have warned me of the content in Slumdog before it arrived at my house in it’s Netflix package. I was emotional the whole way through, the happy ending really didn’t make me feel any better about the content. Perhaps it was an entire box of tissue movie?

  2. I chose to use the free Redbox code to rent it. It was probably somewhere between 3 hankie alarm and full box of tissues. I thought it was a wonderful movie, but it IS one of those movies that leaves you with a PTSD feeling.

  3. I didn’t know Slumdog was going to be like that. I was a mess for the first 45 minutes. Just thinking about the little girl getting left behind when the brothers jump on the train still makes me tearful.

  4. At that point in the movie, I was too horrified by the spoon to realize it, but Doug pointed out that the girl could have been in danger on that train car.

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