Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Don't trust the Dove

I have about had it with the Dove Foundation, which bestows its "family-approved" seal on media it considers appropriate. It is beyond me what kind of standards they apply. Material Girls gets not only their okay for 12 and up, they call it "a perfect comedy for moms and daughters" -- a blurb picked up in the movie's ads. Dove does acknowledge in its review that there are some language issues and tsks that a character's "thank you" when told she's too thin "might send the wrong message to young girls about body weight issues."

For some reason, they don't think to mention some other areas of concern, like the main character's decision to copy Erin Brockovich and wear skimy clothes to beguile a young man into letting her look at some files. Or that doing so gets her arrested and thrown into a jail cell with prostitutes who stroke her arm suggestively. They don't think to mention that the behavior of the silly rich girls is as clueless after their big supposed new understanding as it was before. Worst of all, they don't think to mention that it is a bad movie, poorly written, directed, and acted. Even if this film had no objectionable material, its complete worthlessness would make it unsuitable for viewing by kids. One family value has to be that children deserve quality entertainment.

And Barnyard is "suitable for all ages?" I would suggest that under "violence" they might want to mention the death of the main character's father, and how that character could (should) feel responsible. But what they feel is worth mentioning is the sight of a child's tush when his pants are pulled down. They do mention the predatory coyotes but they gloss over the death of the father and don't even bring up the weirdness of the main character's love interest being pregnant (by a bull who was killed) and later (off-screen) giving birth. It's even weirder that they abdicate their responsibility to provide some kind of guidance by deferring to audience members. Their "worldview" report leads off

The Dove Foundation recently hosted a special screening of "Barnyard," and the response was very positive. "It was pretty good," said a lady named Laura who had brought her three-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son to the screening.

The Dove Foundation says that it promotes "family-friendly entertainment. Our standards and criteria are based on Judeo/Christian values, free from the pressure of commercial interests. We believe in a positive approach of commending high-quality, wholesome movies rather than condemning filmmakers for not meeting those standards."

Neither of these movies can be considered "high quality." The one thing people should be able to rely on from Dove or anyone else who provides guidance to families about media is a clear picture of any area of concern. These reviews are inadequate and misleading. If I had a seal, I'd stamp them "not approved."

1 comment:

Rev. Debra Haffner said...

And, more we need to be concerned that Dove acts as if it speaks for all religious bodies...it does not. Nell's readers need to know that Dove is now turning it's attention to "cleaning up" television. See my blog today for my experience with their telemarketers. Thank goodness we have the Movie Mom to truly help parents.

Rev. Debra W. Haffner