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Kids and R-Rated Comedies: Who Is the Joke On?

Mom and Dad might think twice about getting a sitter to go see The Sitter, which stars Jonah Hill as a hapless schlub who watches three bratty kids for a night and ends up in a host of unfortunate situations, including drug deals and wild car chases through the city. Although the film stars three wonderful young kid actors who will hopefully go onto better roles in the future, the Jonah Hill-starrer prides itself on being vulgar and raunchy (the opening scene will make most adults blush). In fact, parents may go apoplectic upon hearing the level of raunch that permeates the film's dialogue--especially since much of the blue language is mouthed by the younger stars.

Now, kids swearing in the movies are nothing new. But is it OK to then make these foul-mouthed youngsters comic accomplices in outrageously sexual or drug-related situations (something becoming more and more common onscreen)? Take A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, in which a baby gets high on second-hand smoke, ecstasy and cocaine, and the upcoming American Reunion, whose red-band trailer shows a toddler getting a sock full of his dad Jason Biggs’ seminal fluids tossed onto his head.

Jonah Hill’s movies are often produced by Judd Apatow, who has proven himself more than able at creating relatable parent/kid/family situations within an R-rated film. But Judd Apatow is not the director of The Sitter that would be David Gordon Green, who is known for stoner flicks Pineapple Express and Your Highness. The fans of that genre of film will enjoy elements of The Sitter but parents might just find it uncomfortably squirm-inducing.

What do you think? Has Hollywood's R-rated recipe of misguided kids, raunchy dialogue and stoner situation comedies gone too far?

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