My family and I are definitely "movie people". We truly enjoy spending time together watching movies and discussing them. Now that my son is 14, he and I have begun branching off into some of the classic sci-fi and action movies from the past 40 years. Although many of these movies are rated "R", I am confident my son understands how to match the words he chooses to his audience. In other words, he can hear swearing without dropping an "F- bomb" in front of his parents, teachers or grandma (that last one is probably the most important). He is also able to tell the difference between fantastical on-screen violence and reality. I'm not sure if my son is purposely a pacifist or if that is simply his natural make-up. Either way, I am not concerned that action movies will cause him to turn into a rage monster.
Because I truly believe he can handle the content, Timmy and I have recently enjoyed Alien, Aliens, Terminator and Terminator 2. Today I decided to try a comedy that was clearly aimed at 14 years back in 1995. I decided to watch the comedy "classic" Billy Madison with my son.
He loved it. (I am almost embarrassed to admit, so did I). I still laugh at so many parts of that movie. Why was the penguin there? Whatever.
Although he and I both loved the movie, I think this one belonged in the "watch it without me and we will talk about the funny parts later" pile. There were some parts that were just really awkward to watch as father and son. The opening scene about "nudey magazine day" was definitely one of them. I could tell he wanted to laugh. So did I. But it just seemed way too awkward. All of the love scenes and sex jokes felt that way as well.
Why does Adam Sandler talking about shampoo vs conditioner still make me laugh? Oh yeah, I'm super immature.
The movie is rated "PG-13". I know my son is mature enough to handle it. I would have just preferred that he see there is still a line between us. I love the kid. I also like him a lot. But I am still his boss. We can be friendly... but we can't exactly be friends. He needs to know that he can't behave the same way with me that he would with his 14 year old dipshit friends. Recognizing this divide will help him later in life when he needs to deal with teachers and employers (and girlfriends' fathers).
So here's a word of advice, if you want to share Billy Madison with your teenager, watch it separately and then talk about all of the hilarious parts that are appropriate to talk about.... like this brilliant speech!