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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

"Daddy, What's A B--w J-b?"

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       I really enjoyed "Superbad"...more than any 50 year old man should.

      The new movie is aimed at those half my age and below.     It's the story of a group of high school kids and their final days as seniors, seeking what those at that stage of life seem preoccupied with: alcohol and the opposite sex.     It's raw, raunchy, gross, immature, and very funny (if you are forever stuck with a high schooler's sense of humor, which I admittedly am).       It's rated "R", and it earns that honor about 45 seconds in.     

       As much as I enjoyed the show the other afternoon, I couldn't stop taking my eyes off the screen to check the seats every now and then, wondering if they were still there.

       Who are "they", you ask?

       It would be the man (presumably, the father) with his two sons, one who seemed to be all of 11 and the other considerably younger.

       In the interest of full disclosure, I was seeing "Superbad" with my son, too, but he's 17 and got me in for free (he works at the theater and treated me with a pass).      And, even though he and I have a pretty open relationship, there were points in the film where I felt...uncomfortable...seeing what I was seeing with my boy at my elbow.      

       And, even though he's 17, my kid had the smarts to know that what the guy with the two young boys was doing was wrong, leaning over to me as they walked in to say, "And, say 'hello' to  our Father of the Year."       He had already seen "Superbad", and I asked him how long he thought Ward Cleaver and the Beavers were going to last.     "Half an hour, tops," he predicted with confidence.

      Sad to say, they went the distance.        The only thing they missed were the closing credits which include a display of profane artwork alluded to earlier in the film.

      Un----ing believable.

     I can't imagine the questions the old man must've gotten on the way home, or how he handled them.       There was nothing subtle about "Superbad", and I'm doubting there was much that went over the kids' heads.    There are points in the movie where the characters sound as though they're prattling off a prostitute's bill of fare.     There are allusions/discussions/pantomimes of various sex acts.       The language would make a Marine drill instructor blush.      I, who use profanity as an art medium, learned several new words.

      And there they sat, a father and his sons.

      My guess is that dad really, really wanted to see the movie, and wasn't going to let a few little things like his boys get in the way.      Rather than waiting a week or two until they were back in school, he had to see "Superbad" and he had to see it NOW.       Even if he got bushwhacked by the rather tame t-v ads, he had the right/obligation to get up and see the manager about a cheerful refund.    The knock is that there aren't any movies targeted at kids anymore.       It may be true, but there are also a kadzillion ways for parents to find out about films and their maturity levels, thanks to the Web which contains any number of sites that list the swear words, nude bodies, violence and body count of every movie, old and new.

      Dad's excuse?     I doubt he has one, other than his own selfish desire.

      Parents have to make a lot of tough calls as their kids try pushing the maturity envelope.     This isn't one of them.     I can only hope to be around one one of his two apple-cheeked boys starts telling Grandma about the cool movie they saw with Dad the other afternoon.

      I doubt they'll be talking about "High School Musical 2".

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