Your Kids Hate You
I was leafing through a copy of Entertainment Weekly when I came across an interview with Roman Polanski. In it, he spoke of his desire to make Oliver Twist being directly related to his children. His other films being too violent or too shocking for pre-teens, he wanted to make a little sixty million dollar something that his kids would be allowed to see and might appreciate. Now, honestly, I like Oliver Twist as a book and I think Polanski making it into a movie will probably be pretty darn entertaining. But his impulse to make something for his kids echoes an identical intent to which many filmmakers have attributed their worst choices. There are two reasons no one should involve their kids when making movies:
1) Kids are dumb.
- Sorry, but it's true. They haven't read a lot of books and they haven't seen a lot of the world so generally when they want things, they want dumb things. This isn't terrible. They get smarter. But they start off kind of foolish. I, myself, found it enormously entertaining to eat sticks of butter as a child and throw rocks at barns. If a filmmaker had asked me what type of character I'd like to see in his or her next movie, I would have told them eating butter was awesome, and that the characters should eat a lot of butter and then go have rock-throwing contests and maybe shoot some lasers too. Though I can't back it up with links, I do feel like a few filmmakers have made things based on the likes and dislikes of their children. Jar Jar stepping in poop and saying things like 'Exsqueeze me' sure makes it seem like a child or two were executive producing Episode 1.
2) Your kids will hate you
- When R-rated directors make things for their kids, it just infuriates their children. All kids want to see R-rated films and probably love having a parent who makes dark, edgy stuff. To make one's filmmaking choices more palletable for your children is also a lame way to reach them. Do you think Spielberg's kids are going to grow up and look back on Hook with any fondness? Maybe they'll really respect the guns in E.T. he changed into walkie-talkies. No way. They'll look back on Jaws and Close Encounters and the original E.T. and ignore the times dad compromised a film on their behalf.