by Riley “Thursday” Cummins
I saw Eighth Grade in a theater filled with both adults and teens. I went with some of my friends and father. My father, upon request, sat on the other end of the theatre. Right when the film started, I already knew that this was going to rock my world. Fortunately, I was right.
While I saw the movie during the summer, as a seventh grader, it still hit ‘close to home.’ The movie felt genuine and true to my own experiences. The film is about Eighth Grader Kayla. At this point in the story, she only has one week of school left before summer, and then transitions into ninth grade (High school).
This film touches on all emotional aspects of ourselves. One minute you’re sad, then laughing, cringing, or even crying rivers of joy. After the film, when all my friends were dropped off, I went home with my Dad. I asked him what he thought of it, and he said, “I just don’t know yet.” A couple days went by, and I asked him again. He told me, “I still haven’t wrapped my head around it completely yet, and I will probably never, but that movie was a little bit haunting. I saw you and your sister as the main character and some moments just felt way too real, and I considered walking out of the theatre.”
The film is rated R, for language. This brought up a controversy with parents. The teens wanted to go see this film but couldn’t. First, you cannot get into an R rated film unless you’re 17 or older. Second, parents don’t want to take their children to an R rated movie. Maybe the parents are indecisive- is it safe for their child’s wellbeing? One side of this argument, whether teens in Eighth Grade should be able to go see a movie about their lives regardless of rating was if teens are already exposed to this kind of stuff, does it really matter? We, as teenagers with all technological items, are all exposed to language in our daily lives. The way we speak, the way we communicate, the way we text, etc.
So, the real question I’m asking you, the reader, is…if an eighth grader is already exposed to language every day, should they be allowed to go see the film, Eighth Grade, about people their age?