A Call to Action Against Movie Rating System

Lee 1 The movie rating system in the United States was created in 1968, however it is questionable that system does a good job of protecting children from violence and other contents in movies. The movie “She’s all that” not only contains sexual themes and profanity, it leads 13 year olds to have a preconceived idea of high school life. The movie starts as Zack Siler, the most popular guy in school gets dumped by his girl friend Taylor, who is the most popular girl in school. He bets his friend Dean that he can turn ugliest “duck” into a prom queen, so he can save his image and popularity.

Dean happens to choose Laney as the “least likely to be succeed”, who is an art geek and likes to paint in her basement all the time. Laney refuses to date Zack, but he persists and they become friends and falling for each other. Although this movie is about a typical “Ugly Duckling Story” that children might be familiar with, it should not be rated PG-13. Some might think that this movie is okay for 13 year old kids because there are just few violent languages and partial nudity, but there are many scenes that don’t seem appropriate for them.

As the movie begins, Zack and his friend talks about Taylor and how every guy in school wants to “nail” her. They also use “F words” and abusive language during a conversation and there is a scene where two high school kids make out in the school parking lot. By watching these scenes, 13 year olds can have an assumption that if you don’t use abusive language or have a sex, you are not cool. It may be okay for high school kids in the movie to use few violent languages when they are upset, but all the time when they talk. 13 year olds do not know much about high school life, but to learn from older kids or media.

A few scenes can lead 13 year olds to Lee 2 have false impression of high school. The movie may have earned PG-13 rating because there is no scene that private parts are shown. Although private parts are not shown, it is surprising to see the scene where two high school kids make out on the bed with only bra and underwear on. Moreover, the girl licks guy’s body as she goes down to his abdominal area from his chest. It can lead 13 year olds to think that it is normal and okay to do so. It seems like what the industry had done it to cynically put teen R-rated movies into the PG-13 rating. Kahlenberg C10). This movie should not be rated PG-13 because of violent languages and adult consents. “F words” are frequently used by high school kids throughout the movie and as well other abusive languages. Joanne Cantor who is Ph. D. has reported that “Seeing is believing for children” (Grossman, Dave, & Degatano, 1999). It is possible to conclude that when children see sexual or violence scenes, they begin to believe that those are the ways they should believe. Many scenes in this movie are not appropriate for children and they should not be allowed to watch it.

It is also possible that this movie can lead 13 year olds to have a preconceived idea of high school life. There are scenes in this movie where high school kids drink and smoke; however, 13 year olds should not be allowed to watch those scenes. 13 year old kids have just about few years left until they go to high school and they might get a false impression of high school as they watch this movie. The school life that is viewed in this movie is very different from reality, they have no knowledge to differentiate between two. A number of critics have pointed that films are given less restrictive

Lee 3 ratings than previously ( Smith F1) and this movie could be an example. As the movie industry flourishes, there are thousands or maybe millions of movies produced in Hollywood each year. It is important to protect children from violence in movies as well as produce movies. “A line has crossed-not just of taste, but of human dignity and decency. ” Says Robert Dole (qtd. in Dudley 231). It is now good time to review the rating system, there should be a correct and strict guideline for PG-13 movies as the growth of media is becoming great influence to our kids more and more.