Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zac’s New Movie – NOT Cute!

Wouldn’t we all love to go back in time to when we were 17 and make decisions that could have altered the courses our lives ended up taking? That’s the premise behind Zac Efron’s new movie, “17 Again.”

Nice premise. But here’s the problem (and you’ll want to click out of this quickly if you haven’t seen the movie and you don’t want to know what happens in the end): Zac’s character got his girlfriend pregnant when they were 17, and he married her. Two kids and many years later, this guy is filled with regrets and “what ifs.”

After two hours on the screen of Zac reliving his very predictable glory years in high school, he realizes that getting a girl pregnant at 17 and marrying her was the right thing to do, after all. And suddenly he has a new appreciation for what he had all along.

Leave it to Hollywood to glamorize teen pregnancy once AGAIN in “17 Again!” Two years ago, it was “Juno.” And wasn’t that smart-mouthed, sassy Juno so adorable, you just wanted to be her – the young girl who accidentally got pregnant, had the baby, then gave it up for adoption right before she went to Senior Prom?

“Juno” and “17 Again!” are the kind of movies that make you all warm and fuzzy inside about teen pregnancy. And THAT’S the problem! These movies are aimed at the teen set, and the danger is, these teenagers leave the theaters thinking that it’s OK to get pregnant when you’re 16 and 17, because it all works out in the end. Just like it does in Hollywood. Life all wrapped up in a pink or blue bow.

My 15-year-old daughter saw this movie with her girlfriends. I didn’t know what the movie was about (except that it was rated PG-13) until I picked them up afterward and they spilled the entire plot and ending for me. Surprised by it all, I asked one of her friends in the car, “What did you think of the ending?”

“It was SO cute!” she gushed.

CUTE?! Since when is getting pregnant at 17 a cute thing? How can my sensible message of college-career-marriage-and-THEN-babies possibly compete with the multi-million-dollar-mega-watt-charm of Zac Efron, who is basically telling these young kids that it’s OK to skip to the end and have babies, first?

Is it any wonder that teen pregnancies are on the rise again for the first time since 1991?

How about if Hollywood made a movie about a teenager who does everything right – gets good grades, stays away from drugs and alcohol, respects her parents, graduates from college, lands a decent job, moves out on her own, falls in love with a great guy, gets married and has babies, in that order?

Or is that just TOO boring??

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HeyJoe said...

Unfortunately yes, that sounds too boring. Would YOU watch it?

Good post though, and certainly worthy of comment. Hollywood needs to take more responsibility for the messages they send us. Teen pregnancy is not something to glorify. Save that for blood-spurting violence and T & A.

ivan said...

yeah i see where your coming from, my mom had me at the same age too and trust me she did not have a happy ending
ha ha but yeah my cousin after watching JUNO go pregnant thinking that she could just give away the baby and get the problem over with, yeah she was wrong and now lives a very unhappy life
and Joe you are totally right with the blood spurting violence

Lynn said...

Hey, there, my only two readers! I appreciate the feedback. I'm sorry your mom isn't living a happily-ever-after, Ivan. Real-life teen pregnancy is usually a tough road for the mother, as well as for the grandmother. I hear that many of the mothers' mothers help to raise the child, too. I have yet to hear of anyone who has a Hollywood ending. Even the teenager in my car that night who thought that the movie was "cute" revealed that her sister got pregnant at 17, had two more children, and now she is 30 years old and goes out partying all the time because she feels she missed out on all the fun times. Parenting is a full-time job for life. If you decide to have a baby, you'd better be ready for that!

Anonymous said...

Hollywood is making these films because they make money. It's capitalism and we should be proud of our free markets

If you don't like that then move to China where the government decide what the public should think.

If you really want movies to tell a certain story then you have the option of becoming a writer and making one.

You also have the option of asking your children to not see these movies, or at least teach them lessons yourself about how they should live their lives, and that Hollywood movies are just fiction.

We have freedom in this country to make movies and tell stories about whatever we want. Please, please PLEASE don't put pressure on anyone to remove or restrict that freedom just because you don't like what people are doing with it.

Felonius Monk said...

I'm going to start reading your hysterical asshattery all the time.You are comedy gold.

Canti said...

I was trying to understand and respect you, but this just ruined it.

The point of the movie isn't "Hey kids, go get pregnant!" the idea was that, despite his flaws and problems he went through in life, second guessing himself was doing absolutely nothing for him and his life was fine the way it was. You, however, with your terribly closed mind, can't figure this out.

He threw away his future for that child. Did you miss that part? He got someone pregnant, and threw his life away for that child. This is a teenage boy with a promising athletic future and all sorts of scholarships. And he gives them all up for that child. How is that a bad role model?!

The entire god damn moral is that what he did was right- his entire reason for living now is to help his children and take care of them, and that he DID do things right by giving up instead of LEAVING THE GIRL WITH CHILD.

You got the entire moral all freaking wrong because you're so uptight you focused on the fact that he had a kid at 17.

yes, he did.

But he:

-Gave up his promising future to take care of the child.
-Married the girl because it was the right thing to do.
-Second guessed himself YEARS later and wondered what would have happened if he had abandoned her and the child
-Learned that life would have been bad if he had been so callous
-Learned that his children are everything and it was the right thing to do to marry her instead of abandoning her
But you focus on "HE HAD A BABY AT 17!"

People make mistakes. This is a reality. And this guy, in this movie, made the right choice on how to handle that mistake. And you somehow turned it around into a horrible thing!

You also have to be the most impressionable person on the planet, because you have this ridiculous view that anyone who sees anything in a movie is going to go "That must be an ok thing to do!". Someone seeing this movie is not going to leave the theater thinking "Well gosh golly gee mother fucking willikers, getting pregnant at a young age sure must be great!". They're gonna think "That was a pretty good movie.". People seeing something doesn't make them do it. Where in hell did you get this idea?

And I have to ask- would you have a problem if he had gotten someone pregnant at 18? A mere one year later? I very much think that you would not- you've got yourself focused so much on age and societal norms and constricts. That's the reason you somehow missed the entire point of the movie. There could be a movie out there with the most heartfelt appropriate moral ever, and you'd completely miss it because there was a scene at the start with a nude woman. That is your problem. You let these stupid convictions blind you from everything else.

Same goes for Juno. Juno didn't have a happy-go-lucky yay-life-is-great pregnancy. It was horrible. She had trauma through that. She learned a lot of things, and in the end, yes, everything worked out- but it took a lot to get to that point. She made a mistake, AND SHE DID THE RIGHT THINGS TO MAKE IT BETTER.

But again, you can only focus on the teenage pregnancy and you miss that these people did the right things to rectify their mistakes.

Seems to resemble the other blog of yours causing an uproar. You can only focus on the HORRIBLE SEXUAL CONTENT of a fast food bag, that isn't even that bad and wouldn't have offended a priest, and because of that you completely miss that it could be easily cast off as something simple with a quick explanation to your child.

Do you think before you get upset about these things?

Canti said...

One more thing:

You're so hell-bent on protecting your kids, but you don't bother to see what a movie is about before sending them off to see it? Really?

You're so hell-bent on protecting your kids, but you throw fast food at them because they "want a snack" after school? Really?

These things, plus the fact that you supposedly run some family magazine, makes me think that you're making this crap up as you go along to sell magazines to idiot parents and get publicity for it.

I can only hope you're not actually this dense.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the place, don't eat there. You should also consider protesting at hooters. They make great wings, but just so you know, for the waitresses who have smaller boobs, they sometimes where this button that asks the customers to give them a bigger tip so they can get a boob job. I kid you not. But seriously, how about just being a real decent mom and making your kid a home cooked meal rather than fast food. That's what a decent mom would do.

Anonymous said...

"I'm going to start reading your hysterical asshattery all the time.You are comedy gold."

This. My Wife and Myself have found this blog very amusing. Thank you for validating our parenting.

Validating my parenting in the same way Gold Paint Huffing man, validates I am not at rock bottom yet.

YuriNalarm said...

You realize teen pregnancy is on the rise because of abstinance only education, and not Hollywood right?

Quit blaming other people for your own decisions. If you teach your children properly you have nothing to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Or a better idea - lock your kids in the house and never let your little snowflake see the real world.

God, your kids are going to be messed up.