Australian Council on Children and the Media

Just Married

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Short takes

Not recommended under 13 (Lang. Sex.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Just Married
  • a review of Just Married completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 April 2003.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended for children under the age of twelve as they would not really be interested in its subject matter nor relate to the take-home message. This film may also be seen as unsuitable for this age group because of its sexual references, level of violence and coarse language.
Children over the age of 12 Young adolescents may find the subject matter and humour appealing although in general, the subject matter of the film would appeal to adolescent girls more so than boys.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Just Married
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references, Low level coarse language
Length 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film opens with Sarah and Tom, newlyweds, arriving back home after their European honeymoon. The viewer is given the distinct impression that all has not gone well as Tom and Sarah display great animosity towards each other on arrival at the airport. The main story is then presented as a flashback of the honeymoon and the events leading up to their arrival home.

Following the wedding, the newlyweds board a plane headed for Europe arriving at a picturesque castle where they intend to spent the first night of their honeymoon. Unfortunately Tom manages to short out the entire castle’s wiring system while trying to plug in a marital aid, and the pair are evicted from the castle. While searching for new accommodation, Tom manages to crash the car into a snowdrift and the couple is forced to spend the first night of their honeymoon in the front seat of a very small car. The following morning is just as disastrous—their car ends up being pushed over a cliff, the pair run out of money and Tom and Sarah end up staying in a dirty, run-down hotel room. Disaster strikes again resulting in another wrecked hotel room following which Tom decides to borrow money from Sarah’s father for a luxurious hotel room. Stress begins to tell, as the newlyweds, unable to consummate their marriage begin to continuously bicker. At this point Peter Prentiss, an old boyfriend of Sarah’s arrives on the scene. Sarah decides to go out for the day with Peter, and Tom ends up in a bar with strange women. At the end of the day Tom catches Peter kissing Sarah and Sarah finds a strange lacy red bra in the hotel room. The pair decides their marriage may have been a big mistake and board a plane back to the states.

The film reverts to the present time where Sarah has just left Tom and returned to her parent’s home. After having a heart to heart with his father Tom realises married life isn’t perfect, and that he is in love with Sarah and wishes to spend the rest of his life with her. Tom arrives at Sarah’s house and after making a heartfelt plea the pair are reunited.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The violence presented in Just Married was minimal and performed out of anger and frustration by both Tom and Sarah.

The one exception was a scene where a women slaps Tom across the face inferring a violent sexual act, and then kicks Tom in the face when he refused her advances. The violence was absent of real life consequences with no visible signs of injury.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group might be disturbed by the following scenes:

  • a scene involving a dog jumping through a window followed by the sound a car skidding and hitting the dog.
  • a car crashing into a snow drift
  • Tom and Sarah shouting at each other
  • Sarah hitting Tom on the head with a fire poker
  • a woman slapping Tom across the face and then kicking him in the face
  • Tom being electrocuted
  • Tom chasing Peter around the hotel while threatening him with a fire poker
  • Tom and Sarah crashing through the wall of a hotel room
  • the image of a women with a badly bruised face
  • a car crashing into pot plants
  • car being rammed into front gates.

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Young children in this age group may also be disturbed or scared by the scenes described above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may be disturbed by the scene where Tom is slapped across the face as a form of sexual foreplay and then kicked in the face.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the scene where Tom is slapped across the face as a form of sexual foreplay and then kicked in the face.

Sexual references

One scene involves Sarah and Tom lying in bed listening to moaning and squeaky bed springs in the next room, presumably the sexual activities of the couple in that room.

Nudity and sexual activity

There are several intimate scenes involving Sarah and Tom, but the most the viewer is allowed to see is some passionate kissing. No naked bodies are presented in the film. There is a scene where a girl tricks her way into Tom’s room pushes him onto the bed jumps on him and rips off her top, however the viewer sees only the woman’s back.

Use of substances

There are several scenes involving the consumption of alcohol. Three instances involve the consumption of alcohol in a bar with no scenes involving highly intoxicated people. There was one scene where Sarah becomes slightly intoxicated, a fact she becomes aware of and decides to go home.

One scene involved Tom entering his flat to find a friend fast asleep and surrounded by empty beer bottles. While it was not explicit, the inference formed was that the friend had passed out due to excessive alcohol consumption.

Coarse language

There were several instances where colourful language and putdowns were used including:

  • ass kicked
  • fat head
  • “You bet your ass”
  • ass faced
  • pig
  • slut
  • poker stuck up your ass
  • shitcanning

 

In a nutshell

There are two main take home messages:

  • love is what will make a marriage successful not the size of a person’s wallet.
  • married life is not all roses and chocolates, that there are had times as well as good, and that the hard times require working through.

Values that parents may wish to encourage include:

  • that honesty in a relationship is its foundation
  • love is more important in a relationship than money
  • open communication is the best method of sorting through problems

Values that parents may wish to discourage include:

  • losing your temper and resorting to anger and violence when unable to cope with a situation
  • that it is acceptable to defame if the defamation is done out of anger
  • running away from a problem rather than seeking a solution

 

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