I hate children’s movies.
I know that’s an awful thing to say, and it probably makes me a bad mother and I’ll most likely get waterboarded by Pixar for my treason, but it’s true. Nine times out of ten, G-rated films are just horrible. There’s the sassy fish, the friendly aliens, the misunderstood monsters—-it’s like going on a bad acid trip with a bucket of popcorn on your lap. No, thank you.
As the mother of two little boys, I find myself miserably sitting through such masterpieces as Aliens in the Attic and Space Chimps at least twice a month. “What is it today, guys?” I’ll ask. “Talking squirrels? Constipated candy bars? J. Lo as the voice of a lonely toaster oven? Oh, for the love of God, don’t tell me it’s another adorable mouse with self-esteem issues. Jesus, you mice, could you man up a little? Maybe grow a pair? Do you think that’d be possible?”
It’s all I can do to not drop a cyanide pill during the previews.
Of course, I’m happy that I get to spend time with my kids at the theater, but I’ll be a lot happier once they’re old enough to see movies that include swear words and flashes of brief nudity. “Look!” I’ll say then. “That’s Daniel Craig’s naked rear end! Come on, boys, tell me that’s not more exciting than Shrek! Booyah, baby!” (Well, okay, so maybe that’s not such a good idea, either. But did I mention how much I hate the talking squirrels?)
A few months ago, after I almost set fire to my own pants during Hotel For Dogs, I was so desperate for help that I begged my husband to do something. “Well, why don’t you just use your iPhone during the movie?” he said. “That’s what I do every time you make me take the boys to a crap show. It was either that or smuggle in a pony keg.”
“You mean I should do some, like, sexting or something?” I asked. “Is that even legal? And more important, do I have to use proper grammar when I sext? Because I’m not sure how to spell a certain orifice that starts with ‘T’ and I don’t want to embarrass myself.”
“No, genius. You use your iPhone to watch other movies during the kid’s movie. Don’t worry—-I’ll set you up.”
So now, thanks to his (possibly illegal) magic, whenever we go to the movies, we sit in the back row where the boys happily watch flamboyant animals on the big screen while I happily watch episodes of Mary Tyler Moore on my little screen. They point and laugh at farting ducks while I smirk and chuckle at Laverne and Shirley. With a long battery life and sound-proof headphones, it’s the perfect set-up. I honestly haven’t felt suicidal in weeks; not even during that sexy guinea pig spy movie that normally would have made me flog myself with a pack of Twizzlers until I passed out.
Of course, now that I’m not actually watching the movie we go to, I have to just wing it when the boys ask me what I thought about it. “Did you like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, mommy?” they’ll ask. “What was your favorite part?”
“Gee, that’s a tough one,” I’ll answer. “But I have to say that I probably liked the part where Lou Grant had to go to the hospital for his old war injuries and then the, um, cloudy meatballs, came in. Didn’t you?”
I can hardly wait to see Hotel for Dogs 2. I hear Ted Baxter’s hilarious.