One of the most dangerous things about movies is that they are commonly the first reaction a viewer gets on what the real world is like. Especially with younger kids, it’s their first glimpse at reality before they step into it. With the case of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, it is offering a false reality about how love and sex ought to be treated from the inspiration of a true story that started as a joke. The movie right from the beginning admits it’s not quite true to the real story, and even the real Mike and Dave have said on Jimmy Kimmel that it’s hard to say how much of the film is accurate, but they estimate about 80%.
The point being, reality is dangerously skewed in its adaptation to film. There is a scene in this movie where a Pacific Islander masseuse strips himself naked, oils himself, and massages the bride’s naked body with his own body, specifically emphasizing the butt area. If something like this was really happening, it would quickly be considered rape. Her fiancé does find out about it later, but it’s in a moment that’s played for laughs to make him look stupid. The lesson: you can go out and have the best orgasms of your life, and nobody has that right to stop you. Then anyone seeing this is going to subliminally pick up that message and mimic the behavior in real life.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #39: Learning New Things is Really Hard.
I couldn’t even name any of the major colleges until late high school. It was through movies that I was able to pick up on various facts and learn about the world. It was because of Mrs. Doubtfire that I got an idea of what divorce looks like in a family. It was because of Schindler’s List that I saw what the holocaust was like. It was because of All the President’s Men that I heard about the Watergate Scandal. I am a bit embarrassed to say that these things that would be common knowledge to others my age by middle school I wasn’t even familiar with until my late teens.
But it just proves all the more how more susceptible kids with autism can be to the lies movies tell them. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates gives the false moral that sex is all about self-fulfillment, and if a kid with autism sees that without anyone teaching him or her different, that will become the worldview picked up and applied to real-world problems. So please understand this: Movies are not just money tools, they are educators to the uninformed.
- Talk to your kids about the movies that they watch. I don’t mean asking them what their favorite part was, I mean discussing what they learned from the movie, and whether or not it teaches positive morals.
- If you are regularly around people with autism, work personally with them to decipher whether the messages taught in movies are accurate or not. They may not be able to understand a film’s subject matter, so relating it to something they can understand should open them up more to discussion.
- Don’t watch this movie or anything raunchy like it. Reading the backstory of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates proves how everyone was treating this like a joke from the start, which is something that other filmmakers should not be encouraged to try.
If there is a specific movie in my Review List you’d like me to do an autism lesson on, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!