The Family Movie Guide should be used as a supplemental reference for selecting movies suitable for children, along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system. Only films rated G, PG or PG-13 are included in this weekly listing, along with occasional R-rated films that may have entertainment or educational value for older children with parental guidance.
Film categories are "recommended for family viewing," "recommended for family viewing with reservations" and "not recommended for family viewing," along with a description of content that led to that categorizing. Films that may not hold the attention of children will be issued a restless alert of varying degrees. Parents should think twice about taking children to these films for their comfort and the comfort of other moviegoers.
Recommended for family viewing
FAIRY TALE: A TRUE STORY (PG) _ This period drama, set in post-World War I England, doesn't conjure as much magic as the title suggests, but it's a safe and somewhat inspirational story for youngsters. The film is based on a real-life occurrence when two young girls allegedly took photographs of fairies, sparking a national reaction. Fairy Tale: A True Story contains no sex, nudity or violence, and only one crude phrase from co-star Harvey Keitel, who rarely makes it through a movie without a slip. Leisurely paced, so very young children may get bored. One scene features a badly scarred World War I veteran. Apart from that, this is a rare family offering.
Recommended for family viewing with reservations
BEAN (PG-13) _ Children seem to have an easy affinity for Rowan Atkinson's nearly mute nerd, whose blithe ignorance leads to some hilarious physical comedy here. Some of the jokes are steeped in sexual innuendo, as in an extended scene in which Bean dries his pants with a restroom blow dryer and some very suggestive gyrations. One scene involves Bean's cheerful use of a familiar obscene gesture that he doesn't comprehend. Those jokes are few and far between, however, making this a fairly safe bet for older children. Mild profanity, no nudity, and no violence to offend. Recommended for ages 10 and over.
ROCKET MAN (PG) _ Nothing truly objectionable on display here: no sex, nudity or profanity. Any violence rests in slapstick pratfalls, one kick-in-the-groin gag and a scene in which the hero (Harland Williams) apparently flings a chimpanzee around like a rag doll. But that gives an idea of why parents should think twice about this movie for their children. Do you really want kids admiring these ultra-dumb behavior and body-function jokes, or thinking that this is what movie magic is all about? If that doesn't bother you, and you have some money to burn, be my guest.
Not recommended for family viewing
SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET (PG-13) _ This is the sort of high-minded entertainment that teenagers and older can appreciate, but younger children are likely to spend over two hours squirming with boredom. No sex or nudity. Profanity is limited to a handful of mildly objectionable phrases, and violence mostly occurs during the Tibetan revolution against Chinese invaders. The story of the Buddhist religious figure Dalai Lama is a lesson worth learning, although at a time and through a method that will be more effective for children.