Making the Grades
Austin Powers (Mike Meyers) and his nemesis Dr. Evil (also Mike Meyers) are at it again in The Spy Who Shagged Me. Yes, that was a bad word two decades ago, and movie marketers bet the "hee, hee -- do they know what that means?" quotient would propel this film into box office bliss. $200 million later, it seems they bet well.
The premise is simple. Powers is a groovy sex crazed free-love guy who has been transplanted into our time. He still lives in a "pad" and maintains a lifestyle that knows nothing of moral questions or STD's. Tall buxom women that are capable of secret agent self-defense moves even while wearing tiny shorts and tops that defy gravity usually augment his surroundings. His fight to overcome Dr. Evil is merely a story frame to hang the many spoofs of other movies, namely spy films. The James Bond style lengthy opening credits feature Powers exhibiting his nude body while wandering throughout a luxury hotel. (The credits are carefully positioned to keep a PG-13 rating).
Like the title, the script does all it can to incorporate sexual innuendo along with sight gags and scatological comments to bring more impact to the "humor". The lengthy scene when Powers and his cohort, American agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), are in a tent together is a prime example. She's unloading items from a gym bag while Powers is reading in a kneeling position. For the intruders (and us) watching from the outside, the shadows appear as if Shagwell is pulling items out from Power's posterior. As she reaches into the bag, they both make comments that are loaded with obvious double meanings.
While Power's makes a bumbling spy, he has managed to capture his most important subject: Our children. I'd hope this movie's success with young audiences that think Rowan & Martin are a law firm has been an accidental surprise to marketers, although the licensed merchandise -- including toys -- may indicate this was a calculated move. In any event, you may want to consider deporting this secret agent.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
While we can’t recommend this film for any age of child, if your children do see it, you may want to discuss some items with them, including the many slang sexual references that may not be considered appropriate in your family.
Meyer’s characters (he plays three of them) are portrayed as having obsessive sexual behaviors, and children may accept these portrayals literally, not recognizing that they are intended to be humorous. What are the consequences of this type of behavior in reality?