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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

An R-rated film the newest "family" movie? How "Ted" is pulling it off.

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You've no doubt seen the ads--Mark Wahlberg and a teddy bear sucking beer on a couch, out on dates with their girlfriends, having a fist-fight.

It's "Ted" and it's a movie about a guy who grows into adulthood with his favorite toy.   What's not to like?

Nothing, at least not according to box office numbers from "Ted's" opening weekend which show it raked in kazillions of dollars.

An L.A. Times story suggests that a lot of the folks buying those tickets are moms and dads who are taking their kids to the film, even though it's "R" rated, meaning you have to be 17 or older to see it without a parent.  

Some may be surprised once the movie starts, because Ted has a mouth on him like a longshoreman and the fare is very, very blue.  

The Times suggests that people trust the guy who wrote "Ted", Seth McFarlane of "Family Guy" fame.  The paper says these are the same moms and dads who let their kids dial into the Griffin cartoon family every Sunday night and assume McFarlane will serve up the same stuff on the big screen.  "Family Guy" is animated, these moms and dads are thinking, so how bad can it be?

Same with "Ted".   It's an adorable stuffed animal that can talk.   How rough can it?

Had those parents gone to the internet and viewed the uncensored trailer, they'd know.  

Hollywood is in the business of selling movie tickets--nothing else.   It's not there to raise your child, provide role models or discourage you in any way from buying what it's selling.   TV ads for "Ted" dotted the airwaves and most of it seemed pretty family friendly.   It's not.  

It's not easy being a parent, and it's hard shielding your kid from things you might think they're not ready for.  Then again, with the advent of the internet, it's easier getting a leg up on what's fair and foul when it's time to go to the local bijou.   Read the reviews--they're out there, thousands of them.   Check out the trailers--especially the uncensored ones.  

I'd hate to think the bar is getting lowered to the point where "Family Guy" is seen as the new "Disney's Wonderful World of Color", or that "Ted" is thought of as the next "Sound Of Music".  

My kids are grown, and my nest is empty.   My days of having my head on a swivel are done, no longer having to worry about what cruel things the outside world may be trying to foist on my unsuspecting spawn.   My time is my own, some of which I plan on burning at the nearest theater to see "Ted".

And, it'll make my heart hurt if I'm sitting next to someone else's 11 year old as I watch it.


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