Australian Council on Children and the Media

Welcome to Mooseport

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 15 (Sex. Lang. Nudity)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Welcome to Mooseport
  • a review of Welcome to Mooseport completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 May 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the content of the movie as described below, and particularly the scary scene mentioned, this movie is not recommended for children under 8.
Children 8-15 Children 8 - 15 would need parental guidance to view this movie.
Children over the age of 15 Children over 15 would be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

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: Welcome to Mooseport
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references, Low level coarse language, Nudity
Length 110 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Newly divorced Monroe Eagle Cole has just stepped down as President of the USA and decides to move to his summer retreat in the small town of Mooseport, Maine. This is mainly due to the fact that ex-wife Charlotte is demanding the former marital home along with seven million dollars, rather than his preference for small towns. The folks of Mooseport are thrilled that “Mr. President” is coming to live in their town and go out of their way to make him welcome.

Cole arrives with his security entourage and is amused when the town’s leaders come to him with the proposal to be the new Mayor. Always a politician, Cole sees political advantage in this downward career move and graciously accepts the offer. However he, and the town’s leaders, are unprepared for him to be opposed in this election. His rival is all round ‘nice guy’ Handy Harrison, the local plumber and owner of Handy’s Hardware.

Cole’s publicity machine goes into overdrive to tackle this seemingly incontestable election. To make matters worse Cole takes a liking to Sally Mamis, local vet and Handy’s girlfriend for the past six years. Sally is at the point in the relationship where she’s tired of not being Handy’s wife, and so takes up Cole’s offer of a date.
Cole comes to learn that Handy is more than a formidable opponent in both areas. Handy also gets some support from ex-wife Charlotte who arrives on the scene to make sure it’s a ‘fair fight’.

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.

There is some violence in this movie, all set in a comic context:

  • Handy bangs his head on the toilet cistern
  • Sally punches Handy, knocking him down
  • Cole holds a large knife in his hand and imagines attacking Charlotte with it. No blood is shown.
  • Handy gets hit in the head with a golf ball
  • Handy and Cole get into a punch up
  • Sally knocks Handy and he falls into the garden
  • Sally punches Handy in the arm.

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.

The only scary scene in this movie is the scene mentioned above, when Cole imagines attacking Charlotte with a knife

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.

Children in this age group could also be scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

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 could be scared by the knife attack scene also.

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 could also be scared by the knife attack scene, as it is only after the event that it becomes obvious that he is only imagining his attack.

Sexual references

There are several sexual references:

  • After Sally goes out with Cole, she is asked by a reporter if she’s had sex with him yet.
  • Handy interrogates Sally on why she’s wearing black underwear – after looking up her dress. He says that wearing black underwear is a sub-conscious indicator of her intentions.
  • Handy delivers a box to Sally at the restaurant where she’s dining with Cole. Inside is a pair of knickers with a ban symbol painted on them.
  • Handy’s dog is shown mating another dog. Handy tells him to “keep that thing in your body”.

Nudity and sexual activity

At the start of the movie an old man is shown running in the nude from behind. He appears again in another scene. (Quite irrelevant)

The only sexual activity is performed by the dogs.

Use of substances

There’s drinking of alcohol at a party, at a restaurant and at home.

Cole talks about growing marijuana as a youth.

Coarse language

There are several uses of coarse language including the following:

  • Jesus
  • crap
  • holy crap
  • butt
  • bastard
  • I’ll be buggered
  • bitch
  • shit
  • Oh my God

In a nutshell

The take home message is that genuineness and honesty is preferable to wealth and power.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • sincerity
  • honesty

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • fraud
  • deception
  • mean spiritedness
  • taking vengeance
  • manipulation
  • ‘ownership’ and control of others.

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