4 Movies Rated IL, for In-Law Acceptable

by Abby on December 12, 2011

Shocked old ladyIt’s hard enough for my husband and I to agree on a movie. Add visiting relatives to the mix, of varying ages and appetites for raunchiness, violence, and profanity, and it’s damn near impossible. I love my in-laws, but they have a very low tolerance for anything risqué. Let’s just say they are not fans of Judd Apatow’s and the Farrelly Brothers’ work. Unfortunately, that rules out about 90% of the movies on Netflix and Comcast On Demand.

Personally, I would rather strut down the catwalk in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show than squirm through a screening of Black Swan sitting next to my in-laws. We spent a good 50 min. one Saturday night trying to choose a crowd-pleasing movie out of the 300 or so available on Comcast. To save you the time, I will share 4 – count ’em, 4 – movies that I’ve deemed acceptable to watch with your parents or in-laws. Trademark pending for the IL film rating. (In-Law acceptable.)

Super 8. (PG-13) This J.J. Abrams-written and directed film takes place during the summer of 1979. A group of kids who are filming their own movie witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. It reminded us of “Stand by Me” and had an X Files-type theme. Entertaining and with a low cringe-factor, except for towards the end, for those uncomfortable with weird alien life forms.

Soul Surfer. (PG) How can you go wrong with the based-on-real-life tale of young surfer Bethany Hamilton who loses an arm in a shark attack and battles her way back to the sport she’s loved her whole life, thanks to the support of her family and church youth group? Plus, it’s set in Hawaii and stars Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid as her parents.

The Adjustment Bureau. (PG-13) This movie features the appealing Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as a politician and ballerina being kept apart by mysterious forces, and strange men wearing hats. It’s a thinker, and there’s very little sex or violence. No having to cover anyone’s eyes or excuse yourself to go get a drink.

The Way. (PG-13) Now, I have not seen this film – written and directed by and starring Emilio Estevez and his father, Martin Sheen – but I have heard a lot about it and was extremely bummed to find it’s not on Comcast On Demand or Pay Per View. (At least that I can find. Anybody know otherwise?) It’s the story of a father who goes overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “El camino de Santiago,” or the Way of St. James, from France to Spain. The father decides to embark on the journey in his son’s honor, and meets other pilgrims from around the world looking for greater meaning in their lives. Sounds like an ideal in-law movie to me.

Got other suggestions for non-cringe-worthy movies with cross-generational appeal? Let’s hear ’em!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa December 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

We just watched Win/Win, with Paul Giamatti, about a family that takes in a wayward high school student who is also a star wrestler. No sex, one fist fight definitely feel-good-but-still-actually-good film. Rated R, but I can’t remember anything that was too bad.


Abby December 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Yes! I just saw that, too. That’s a great one, thanks!


Cari December 13, 2011 at 12:47 am

It’s nice to hear that we’re not the only ones that struggle with this. We have the same problem when our parents come to visit! I am also really careful about recommending movies to my parents, and I have recommended Soul Surfer, Win/Win and The Adjustment Bureau to them. I wish I could think of more. I’d be interested in hearing more ideas. Maybe just rent some older cute movies like You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally.


Abby December 13, 2011 at 11:34 am

But what about the diner scene in WHMS?! You’re right, though, older movies are usually a safe bet.


Cari December 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Nice catch on the diner scene. I completely forgot about that. I guess you have to rewatch any movie before deeming it IL appropriate! I have watched You’ve Got Mail recently, and I’m pretty sure it’s safe 🙂


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