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BABY MAMA, Harold & Kumar

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 10:20 am in Movies.

Traditional movie critics tend to weigh a flick’s merits on the basis of cinematography and plot development, whereas we want to know, will our kids have nightmares? Start spouting new and inventive swear words? Or ask what those three people are doing and why they’re, um, naked?

So, as we head into blockbuster movie season, we’ll be sharing wisdom from some of our favorite family-centric reviewers – Common Sense Media, Focus on the Family’s remarkably even-handed Plugged In Online, and the very detailed Kids-in-Mind, which lists every violent, sexy or foul-mouthed scene. (And if you’ve got other favorite movie review sites, we want to hear about them too.)

So, let’s lead off with Tina Fey‘s newest, “Baby Mama.”

Fey plays a career woman who delays motherhood till it’s too late, then hires a surrogate, played by SNL colleague Amy Poehler, to carry her child. Fey is definitely funny, says our newspaper’s movie critic, but the movie is “shticky.” Common Sense Media, on the other hand, says, “So what if it’s predictable? Bottom line: Brilliant? No. But laugh-out-loud funny? Definitely.” OK for the over-14 crowd. Not so hot for younger kids, unless you enjoy discussing infertility, artificial insemination and surrogacy at the dinner table.

If you’ve got older teens, though, and are looking for a way to launch discussions about politics and drugs – and naked people, things naked people do and really creative profanity – the new stoner comedy, “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” rated R, might be just the ticket. Common Sense Media says, it’s very, very funny. Also rude, crude, very nude, very sexual and hazed in marijuana smoke. Do not send the small fry. Kids-In-Mind lists exactly why this movie pegs the nudity and profanity meters.

So, what movies are you looking forward to this summer? And how do you decide what’s appropriate for your family?

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