If you are new to our Parental Guidance column, stop what you're doing and go read the first two columns HERE and HERE. You can't just jump in with column 3 and know what's going on. Don't be lazy, people.

OK, fine. I will give you a quick synopsis to help you understand why I'm writing this column with my daughter. I concocted a plan to make my 15 year old daughter, Allie, watch movies of my choice. While she is wise beyond her years, her cinematic expertise was severely lacking. More importantly, I wanted to spend some more quality time with my daughter. She only has three more years before she heads to college, and my oldest girl leaving the house is gonna be traumatic. Most important, it's going to be seriously embarrassing for me if she doesn't know who Clint Eastwood or Robert DeNiro is. I have a reputation to uphold.

Thankfully, Allie was all for my idea. Okay that's enough of the Parental Guidance Cliff Notes version. Go read what she thought about Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ghostbusters before proceeding.

The Inspiration

My 40th birthday was this week. Talk about a downer. I was talking to my mom about feeling older and not having enough energy. At some point my mom moved the conversation over to discussing my grandfather. My granddad is almost 88 years old and has biceps bigger than Hulk Hogan. He still runs a mile each day and just recently had to cut back on his daily push-ups. He's only doing 90 a day now. Did you see what my mom did there? She subtly changed the subject of me thinking I am old and pointed out that I'm just lazy. Well played, mom.

Another interesting fact about my grandfather was that he was the youngest of five sons, and all five sons fought in WWII. Thankfully, they all came back home. That's when I knew which movie we were going to watch this week. We would take a detour from comedy, and delve into a more serious topic.

Saving Private Ryan movie poster

Saving Private Ryan

Every week, I ask Allie a few questions about her knowledge of the movie we are about to see. Each movie we watch will be the first time she's seen the movie.

Allie, have you ever heard of Saving Private Ryan?
I do not believe so.

It's a movie about WWII starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and more. What do you think about that?
Oooh, I love history. I am excited about this. Tom Hanks is one of my favorites. I haven't seen many movies with Matt Damon. Didn't you meet him once and have a beer with him?.

Yeah, yeah he bought me a beer but it was a ROOT beer. Drinking is bad. Uh, remember that. Anyways, will violence bother you? This movie is pretty realistic in that regards.
Well, I'm not a huge fan of violence but we'll find out when we watch it!

Watching Saving Private Ryan was a no brainer when my grandfather's story sparked my idea. However, the closer we get to viewing the movie, the more I wondered if I made the right choice. I personally feel that gratuitous violence is something you shouldn't promote. You shouldn't also paint all violence as unnecessary, though. The graphic nature of Saving Private Ryan is important. War is glamorized far too much. I feel it's important that Allie understands that. I really hope I made the right choice.

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