Help for moviegoing parents exists

In this hyperactive information age, children often see material inappropriate for them. Television, movies, the internet, or even a song on the radio can evoke images of sex and violence.

Perhaps that's why many movie industry pundits didn't expect Disney's new family comedy "The Game Plan" to make a splash at the box office. Nearly every successful movie released this past summer has been chock full of sex, violence, profanity, or gross-out gags.

Contrary to Hollywood's projections, "The Game Plan" dominated the box office, taking in $23 million and claiming No. 1 spot. This is no surprise to parents, many who have been starving for an appropriate film to enjoy with their children.

"It was so refreshing to be able to watch the entire movie with my kids and not have to worry about how it would impact them or which scenes I'd need to put in perspective," said Sandy Dean, 41. "We all loved the movie and it was great to see [my kids] enjoying something wholesome with a good message."

Although many critics have called "The Game Plan" forrmulaic and flat, families are praising the comedy for its good, clean fun. Perhaps Hollywood will begin to turn out more family friendly fare, but until then, parents can check out one of the many family-oriented review websites before heading to the theaters.

"We had a bad experience earlier this summer when my husband took our seven-year-old son to see "Die Hard 4" (Live Free or Die Hard)," Dean said. We thought it would be OK because it was rated PG-13, but [our son] Nicky was traumatized- he had nightmares for weeks."

In response, Dean took to the internet and discovered www.kids-in-mind.com, a Web site that gives detailed reviews of every movie released, taking note of every instance of sex, violence or profanity in each film.

"It's been a lifesaver. I'll never take the kids to a movie without checking www.kids-in-mind.com first," Dean said.