What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Airplane! is a fast-paced, comic parody of the very popular disaster movies of the 1970s (Airport, The Poseidon Adventure). For the makers of this film, nothing is to be taken seriously, not even an impending airplane crash. Many of the drug and sexual references may fly over the heads of younger viewers. But absolutely nothing is sacred -- sexuality, violence, racial stereotyping, and substance abuse all are grist for their ingenious silliness. There's brief nudity (breasts), lots of sexual innuendo, and sexual sight gags, including a romantic interlude between a stewardess and an inflatable pilot, and scenes in which a pedophile comes on to a young boy. Characters fall out of windows, commit suicide in a variety of ways, fight, drink alcohol, sniff glue, snort cocaine, and use occasional coarse language ("ass," "s--t," "crap," "pisser," and more).
- Families can talk about the use of humor in the movie and how several jokes are at the expense of women, people of color, war veterans, religious groups, and gays. How does context change the way we interpret comedy?
- Parents also can talk about the nature of parody and how much of Airplane! is parodying other movies.
- How well do you think the filmmakers succeed at nonstop jokes and silliness?