Should a strip-club scene ever be in a PG-13 movie? I’m not judging, I’m asking you, fellow movie-savvy parents. The Internship, a comedy from Night at the Museum director-producer Shawn Levy, features a lengthy scene in a strip club where, indeed, scantily clad dancers are performing lap dances and where, of course, we meet a familiar character, the stripper with a heart of gold.
The Internship director Shawn Levy is best known for family films like Night at the Museum series, Cheaper by the Dozen and Big Fat Liar. However, in his more adult outing Date Night, Tina Fey and Steve Carell do wind up at a strip club and that movie is also rated PG-13. Rock of Ages similarly has Julianne Hough on the pole. The Guilt Trip, Sucker Punch and Burlesque all feature scantily clad girls dancing on a stage in a nightclub.
The funny thing is that the characters in The Internship repeatedly reference Flashdance, the 1983 movie about a steelworker/stripper who wants to be a professional dancer. Flashdance and The Internship feature the same MPAA no-no’s: cursing, drinking and exotic dancers, but Flashdance got an R rating. BUT, Common Sense Media says they think Flashdance is okay for 15 year olds, parents think it’s okay for nine year olds (?) and kids say it’s appropriate for seven year olds!
In his act, Chris Rock sums up the feelings of most parents: a father’s number-one job is to “keep his daughter off the pole.” I’m not sure I’d mind the PG-13 rating if these movies made strip clubs seem like a terrible, soul-sucking place to work. But it’s a problem when they make the job of a stripper seem kinda fun, especially because according to these films, a stripper keeps her underwear on.
Here are three movies to see with your family this weekend:
After Earth. Will Smith and son Jaden Smith provide the ultimate father-son movie in a sci-fi parable about growing up.
Epic. After unexpectedly becoming the guardians of the forest, the kids in this movie learn to appreciate their own guardians a whole lot more.
Now You See Me. What kid doesn’t love magic? This tale of four Robin Hood-esque magicians is truly magical because director Louis Leterrier relies on the power of illusion rather than the power of special effects to prove the closer you look, the less you see.
Find out how kids feel about these movies by going to KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.