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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Movie Review for the Mindful Parent: Mr. Bean's Holiday

In this day and age, it's hard to know what is okay for your kids to watch, and what isn't. The problem mainly lies in the fact that each family varies as far as tastes, moral codes, and lifestyles. What is permissible in one household could be taboo in the next, and when you factor in the maturity level of individual children, it makes the rating system for TV and movies nearly ineffective. That's why I started cataloging the movies I watch. Not only do I look at things from a parental perspective, but I include detailed information that may be helpful in deciding whether a movie is appropriate for your child. It is my hope that this information will help others to make informed decisions the next time they are renting or buying a movie.

Mr. Bean's Holiday is a movie starring Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, a man headed out on a holiday with the intention of spending time on the beach in Cannes. Mr. Bean finds that getting to Cannes isn't quite as easy as he'd hoped, and he ends up making a mess of his travel plans. Fortunately he meets some friends along the way, and they all journey to Cannes together.

My opinion of the movie, pre-kids: This is a movie I would have found pretty funny before children, but it wouldn't have struck me as exceptional in any particular way. I would have laughed, I would have enjoyed, and that would have been the end of it. The acting is good and reminded me a of a Mr. Magoo or Get Smart type of show.

My opinion of the movie, post-kids: This movie is awesome. What makes it so awesome? As a parent, it stands out in stark contrast to most other movies due to the facts that 1: There was nothing in it that I personally wouldn't want my kids to see. 2: It was funny. 3: It's one of the few "safe" movies that I genuinely enjoyed watching. There really wasn't anything about this movie that bothered me, but I still included some notes on the movie below to help out parents who are looking to screen out certain concepts and situations.

Swearing: There was no swearing in this movie as far as I can tell, but if you look it up the wiki on the movie, it will say that there is a point in the movie where "damn" is said in French, and again in Russian. I didn't notice either instance, but I do recall a point where the captioning said "darn".

Issues of Note (These are for parents who have not discussed certain aspects of life with their children, and are not ready to broach these subjects yet.): There is a point in the movie where Mr. Bean puts on a sweater on his head to look like a "wig" and he lip syncs the woman's part in opera, and another part later where Mr. Bean dresses like an old woman and a young boy dresses up to pretend to be someone's daughter so they can get past the police.

Other (This is for anything else that I feel has the potential to become a discussion or a point of contention.): Some minor themes that appear in this movie are: absurdity, making mistakes and not admitting to them, ruining/taking other people's things, lack of road-safety, and trespassing. None of these things are done with an air of maliciousness, but with a sense of the ridiculous. There is also a scene where a man is assumed to be in the middle of committing suicide when he receives a phone call, doesn't like what he hears, and jumps off the bridge into the river. This is done for comedy's sake and the man does not appear to be hurt, but it may bother some people so I chose to include it.

I understand that not all of these issues are "hot-buttons" for some families, and for others, this type of information is just the sort of thing they look for when they are trying to grab a movie on a Friday night. My intent is not to tell any of you which issues you should screen out, but rather to highlight them to everyone so that each person can make an informed decision.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know what you think in the comment area below, I love chatting with my readers!