Most of us have at least one terribly embarrassing memory of watching something inappropriate with our parents or kids. We know you've all been through it -- gone to see a film you thought would be a crowd-pleaser only to realize it's cringe-inducing -- at least while sitting next to the parental units or offspring. Here are some true stories about unbearably embarrassing movie moments, starting with my own confession.
Full Frontal Horror: A couple of years ago, I asked my friend if she could watch my kids until my husband came home from work, and in exchange, I offered to take her 12-year-old daughter to the screening. I didn't know much about the movie other than that it was a musical biopic parody called 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,' starring John C. Reilly. During the movie, I was bothered (on her behalf) by the strong language and innuendo but figured it was still PG-13-level stuff. All of a sudden, there's a scene of all-night partying that ends with a close-up shot of a man's penis. I had no idea what to do! I felt I couldn't leave the movie, because it was my job to review it, but I couldn't just pretend there wasn't a man's genitalia on full display. I looked over at my middle-school plus-one, and she had her head turned away. I was relieved but am sure she saw at least a glimpse of the full-frontal nudity. Telling my friend afterward was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. To her credit, my friend joked, "Well, now we'll all remember where she was when she saw her first penis.
Twice the Embarrassment: "Sadly, there are too many to recount from my childhood. It's a wonder I'm not more scarred. Top 2: (1) My parents took me to see 'Risky Business' in the theater when I was six or seven because someone had told them it would be appropriate, and the ads were all Tom Cruise dancing with candlesticks. Let's just say I was not eager to ride the subway for a long, long time after that; (2) I saw 'Basic Instinct' with my dad in the theater. A girl should never have to see Sharon Stone's lady parts sitting next to her father. EVER." -- Lauren G., New York, N.Y.
'Talladega' Nightmare: "My twin nephews convinced us all to go to the movies together (me, Hubby, my eldest son, my sis, her hubs, and all her kids) -- it was 'Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby.' I didn't know the rating but thought it was just a racing movie comedy. Um, er ... not quite. It was PG-13 and I honestly, to this day, think it should have been R -- and I'm NOT a prude! To make matters worse, we got there late and the kids and the dads were sitting separately (I was in the back with the stroller and infant). The theater was packed and I could not get my husbands attention to get him to take Noah out (he and my brother-in-law were laughing too loud). Once it was over I made a bee-line for the car so no one would no I was the mother of that little boy watching the inappropriate movie and blame his dad for the indiscretion. I remember feeling so appalled and thinking "I'm a bad mother," but son wasn't scarred (he did however keep saying 'RickyBooby' in that fake French accent Sasha Baron Cohen used in the flick)." --Emily M., Alexandria, Va.
'Big' Disappointment: "We Netflix Livestreamed 'Big' thinking the kids would love it. I clearly remembered the scene with them going to sleep in separate bunk beds. I did NOT remember that later things got much steamier. Oops." -- Mir K., Athens, Ga.
Sleepover Regrets: "I let my twins watch 'Kick-Ass' for their 9th birthday party sleepover. The next day when parents came to pick their kid up was not a shining parent moment." -- Megan G., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Anywhere But 'Home': "For some reason, my mother took me to see 'Coming Home' with Jon Voight and and Jane Fonda. There is a way too graphic love scene between them and I wanted to DIE!!! I'm sure she did too!" -- Diana P., Plant City, Fla.
Lesson Learned: "My husband and I took our teenage daughters, and two of their friends, to see 'Hoffa.' I was as you say 'MORTIFIED.' After that one, we were very careful about the movies we exposed ourselves and the kids to!" --Barbara A., Miami, Fla.
Foreign Film Blues: "I won tickets to an art film festival in downtown Miami and went all gussied up with my mom. My boss and her dad were behind us. The Italian movie started: artsy, rains, wandering, and then sex. Lots of sweaty, arty Italian sex. We left after about the third coupling and got dinner and chatted instead." -- L.B., who thinks the movie is 'Bámbola'
Even Professionals Make Mistakes: "I took my son to the PG-rated 'The Man Who Knew Too Little' with Bill Murray. There is a scene of an elderly couple dressed in bondage gear. 'Why did he ask her to spank him, Mom?' The MPAA apparently thought because it was an elderly couple it was too funny to be sex-related." -- Nell Minow, aka The Movie Mom
"We started 'Look Who's Talking,' which begins with a lovely sequence of sperm swimming along looking for an egg and making innuendos. Then has a storyline about the baby being the result of an affair. Yeah. We didn't get very far into it. I remember loving it." -- Rebecca Cusey, movie critic, Six Seeds.tv
(Banner image courtesy of Corbis.)