Tuesday, January 25, 2011
No Brains Attached: King George VI versus Ashton Kutcher…
"R — Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously…"
So says the Motion Picture Association of America, and who are we to argue about what constitutes an R-rated movie, as opposed to a G (“General Audiences”), PG (“Parental Guidance Suggested”), PG-13 (“Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13”), and every male teenager’s white whale: NC-17 (“No one under 17 admitted”)?
But argue we will, based on an entirely unscientific viewing of one excellent, R-rated movie (“The King’s Speech”) and a host of violent or raunchy, or violent and raunchy, previews, all from other movies also rated “R,” which preceded it.
The most offensive preview—and we realize this is like calling out the least-productive member of Congress, but here goes—happened to belong to a movie called “No Strings Attached,” starring, well, who really cares, in a plot that revolves around uncommitted sex between the leading male and a bevy of idiotic young women. Through a series of very brief snippets of awkward encounters, the preview alone reinforces the generally held universal notion that young men should be encouraged to pry random sex out of naïve-and-willing young women without consequence.
In “The King’s Speech,” however—the movie that followed this and other previews, one of which included a violent car crash, a blood-gushing fight, and random torture—the only “adult material” in 2 hours’ worth of a well-written, well-acted and well-told story, happened to be the use of various words that anyone in the theater under the age of 17 was already using in the car on the way to the theater.
More to the point, the supposedly inappropriate words in this case came forth in entirely appropriate, laugh-out-loud circumstances, very much like the repeated use of the F-word in the first ten minutes of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
And that’s it: there is not an eye-gouge, a from-the-point-of-view-of-the-horrified-victim stabbing, or even a mild sex scene in the thing.
So how on earth does a “King’s Speech” deserve the same rating as a “No Strings Attached”? We have no clue. According to the Motion Picture Association,
Ratings are assigned by an independent board of parents with no past affiliation to the movie business. Their job is to rate each film as they believe a majority of American parents would rate it, considering relevant themes and content.
It is hard to believe that actual human beings with children could prefer their under-17s watch a randy moron cavorting with various randy moronettes, as opposed to the painful efforts of a decent man to overcome physical and emotional handicaps when he is thrust into the national spotlight on the eve of a world war. But that’s what they’re telling us:
Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures. —the Motion Picture Association of America
On the contrary, we could think of nothing more appropriate for a young child to see than “The King’s Speech.”
And leave “No Strings Attached” for the remainder bin at Wal-Mart.
I Am Not Making This Up
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Posted by Jeff Matthews at 7:59 AM