Movie Mom

Movie Mom

What does PG-13 Mean?

posted by Nell Minow

Two movies are opening this week, both rated PG-13, but they are at opposite ends of that very broad spectrum that reaches from the suitable-for-grade-school PGs to the 17-and-up R rating. I will go into more detail in the reviews, but “The Proposal” is a romantic comedy with a few bad words, some sexual references, and nudity that does not reveal anything that would be covered by a (small) bathing suit. But “Year One” is a gross-out comedy with jokes about incest, castration, circumcision, orgies, and lots of bathroom jokes.
Parents should always be very cautious about PG-13 films, especially comedies, because it is impossible to predict, based on one film with that rating, what any other PG-13 will include.

  • Kathy R

    Exactly why I check your reviews! Thank you very much for the guidance you give all us moms! Now, if all the parents at school would check here first…

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks so much, Kathy! What keeps me going is the parents out there who care deeply about making sure that their children are well protected and well guided. You made my day!

  • Laura

    I agree with this caution regarding PG-13 rated movies. I have found that romantic comedies are the worst offenders. It seems like you can’t watch one without being assaulted with at least partial nudity and plenty of sexual innuendos. We have taught our children not to view PG-13 movies until they are actually 13, and only with our approval. This causes some complaining, but we always respond with this comment, “not all PG-13’s are created equal!” Thank you for your standards.

  • Nell Minow

    And thank you, Laura. I fear I will be writing something like this about PG soon; even that standard cannot be trusted any more. Many, many thanks for your support.

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