Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Movie Life vs Real Life

From the San Jose Mercury News comes an AP story about an Australian study emphasizing the other-worldy nature of Hollywood. There's no great surprises here (few of these well-financed social studies deliver much beyond what is already common knowledge), but the story is a good reminder to parents (and all others, for that matter) of just how dangerous an influence going to the movies nowadays can be. You need to be registered to get to the SJMN so here's a few excerpts:

...The Australian researchers studied a September 2003 list of the 200 biggest box-offices successes of all time as ranked by the Internet Movie Database. They excluded animated features, films with G and PG ratings, and movies released or set before the start of the AIDS pandemic in 1983.

Of the 87 remaining movies in the study published Monday in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 28 contained sex scenes - a total of 53 scenes in all...

The sexiest film - in quantity, if not quality - was 2001's "American Pie 2," which contained seven episodes of unprotected sex in which the "only consequences were social embarrassment..."

Eight percent of the films contained depictions of marijuana use, and 7 percent other non-injected drugs, the researchers said.

Just over half the marijuana scenes - 52 percent - showed use of the drug in a positive way. In the other 48 percent of cases it was depicted as neutral.

Characters smoked tobacco in 68 percent of the films and got drunk in 32 percent.

Only a quarter of the movies were entirely free of behavior such as unprotected sex, drug use, smoking and drinking, the researchers said...