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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pedophilia At The Movies: That's My Boy Vs Michael.

NOTE**** The following rant is based just on reviews and trailers.  I have not actually seen either film.       




Recently, I read a review over at Bonjour Tristesse about a movie called "Michael" that had a very controversial premise.  It's about an older man who keeps a ten-year-old boy locked up in his basement.  The review went on to mention how  this guy tries to appear normal to everyone around him and I find that to be incredibly scary.  The real monsters in the world are the ones that are genuinely  nice.  The title character in this story gets along well with co-workers, family, and even has a descent social life, all while sexually assaulting a child he has locked up.  It's very common to want to see this character portrayed as an ugly, sick person doing these awful things, because we don't want to think of this person as a real human being with real emotions.




Now I see that Adam Sandler has a new comedy coming out this weekend called "That's My Boy".  In it, a female teacher has sex with an eight-year-old boy (IMDB and the trailer both say he is a teenager, but he looks like a damn child to me), which results in him becoming a father at a young age.  After the mother goes to prison, someone in the government thinks it would be a great idea for this kid to raise his new son by himself (with, I'm guessing, some sort of supervision).  I know this is a comedy and I've got to look past some things, but this is fucking ridiculous.  There is no way they would let a kid raise a small baby.  Yet, that is not my biggest problem with this movie.  I am more disturbed that a female teacher basically molests a child and we look at this as a comedy. 


  


Both movies have adults molesting kids.  One may argue that the sex in "Michael" is not consensual and I one-hundred-percent agree that it is not.  But, the sex between the student and the teacher in "That's My Boy" is not so innocent either.  She just didn't have him chained up in her basement.  Look, I don't blame the kid for being sexually attracted to his teacher, that is fine.  I don't even really mind movies where the teacher does has sex with a younger student.  However, "That's My Boy" takes it into a creepy territory, because they try to make this woman look incredibly sensual when she is basically a child molester.  This movie seems to be making the argument that as long as you are good looking, then taking advantage of your students is certainly acceptable.  Even though the boy grows up to be kind of a loser, he still is looked at as being some kind of hero for having sex with an older woman.  







I mentioned over at The Lamb, when I reviewed the trailer to "That's My Boy", to switch the gender roles.  Let's have it be about a good looking male teacher (Ryan Gosling, George Clooney) who seduces a young girl into having sex and see how well that gets a wide release.  Would "Michael" get wider distribution if it had been about a woman keeping a small boy prisoner?  Or would it have been better if the man was keeping a young girl captive, instead?  Older woman seducing younger guys or girls seems to be more morally acceptable in the movies, just look at movies such as "The Graduate" or "American Pie".  But when it's an older guy seducing a younger girl or boy, then he looks like a rapist.




Both movies are completely different in tone, but just the idea of an older person taking advantage of a younger person is still very creepy, in my opinion.  It's like our society accepts some forms of pedophilia, but not others.  They just don't understand that neither is okay.  Remember that one teacher who had sex with her thirteen-year-old student and ended up in Playboy Magazine?  She was accepted by society when she should have been shunned.  As much as I am really creeped out by the premise of "Michael", at least that movie doesn't try to make it's pedophile sexually attractive, and that's my biggest rant about "That's My Boy".








12 comments:

  1. Some pretty interesting points there. I remember seeing a hidden camera show where one of the pranks was a little boy trying to pickup grown women. It was somewhat amusing. But I did made me think that they'll never pull it off if the prank was a little girl flirting with grown up men.

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    1. Thank You. Yeah, Sometimes I think are morals are going backwards to the 50's

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  2. Good post Vern.

    I'd actually not heard of this Sandler film before, and it is troubling to me how anyone figured that this would be a good subject for a crass comedy. Hollywood, it's not piracy that's killing you, it's crap like this.

    And you are right, there exists a cultural double standard that makes one far more marketable/acceptable than the other to portray. I think LÉON is a good example of this, where the theatrical version was cut down to eliminate any hints at anything sexual. Then you have the movie BIG, where Tom Hanks' character is only 13, but it's perfectly OK to imply sex there.

    Also interesting that you mention Gosling. In HALF NELSON, he plays a teacher who enters a highly inappropriate relationship with a female student. The film never crosses the line, but I think only because it would've otherwise never been made.

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    1. Thank you very much. You make some really good points with your examples.

      I do believe the theatrical version of LEON was cut down because audiences were afraid to show a young girl have thoughts about sex. Leon liked the companionship but wanted nothing to do with her physically. He was much more innocent about sex then her.

      As for BIG I didn't mind that an older woman had sex with a 12 year old because at the time he was in the body of a 35 year old man. Although I don't know quite how well her story would on the cops.

      "But Officer. He said he was 35"

      "Was that before or after you noticed his Spiderman underwear"

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  3. I recently read a review of That's My Boy that did reveal spoilers and there was a lot about what I read that actually offended me.

    It was what Adam Sandler wanted to suggest about how a kid gets it on with his teacher and she gets in trouble while he's being reward with fame. It just sends a bad message.

    I'm glad the movie bombed at the box office as it's to indicate that we all have had enough of Adam Sandler's bullshit.

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    1. Adam Sandler is too damn old to keep doing these frat boy comedies. He needs to mature more. Thanks for the comment

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  4. Vern,

    I agree with you entirely! I remember back when the first trailer was released, and my initial thought was "who thinks something this inappropriate is funny."

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a comedy guy, but I do find humor in films like Porky's, American Pie, and Road Trip to name a few. However, to me those films aren't trying to make light of extremely serious issues that seem to cross our local newscasts far too often. The three films I named have me reminisce to my own youth and the bonds of friendship, which often led to some pretty damn funny stories.

    Bonjour Tristesse said it best, it's crap like That's My Boy that's killing Hollywood...that and the lack of originality, if you ask me.

    Very well said Vern, very well said.

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    1. Thank you Joe. Like I said it's not the Older woman having sex with younger person I have issue with. It's the fact they over sexualize her. As if to say that it's ok she molestes boys because she's attractive

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  5. Very good article. I've always been offended by any positive portrayal of pedophilia in movies and things like "That's My Boy" which makes light of such a heinous thing really bother me. Another big problem "That's My Boy" had was that it had the bad taste to open the same week as the Jerry Sandusky trial started.

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    1. Exactly Alex if this movie was about male teacher who got one of his female students pregnant this would have a hard time being released and it's that kind of hypocrosy(sorry for my mis spelling) that I have a problem with

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  6. "Crazy Stupid Love" has a scene where a girl in her late teens gives nude photos of herself to a young boy. This is presented as a "sweet" moment. Whether you think it is or not, imagine the genders reversed. There would be uproar.

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    1. Thank you for the comment. Yes The hypocracy of men hitting on younger women should have the same effect if older women hit on younger men. They are both forms of abuse

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