Rated R--For Winking, Leering, Lascivious Smiling and Brief Smoking
I've never been a fan of the MPAA Rating System, for a host of reasons. One reason is that certain films seem to be able to be rated PG, with plenty of cussing, violence and even a little nudity, while others become R rated for the ambiguous "adult themes." Please make me believe wealthy, successful producers can't smooth-talk MPAA Board members into changing an R to a PG. Please!
A second is that, though literally everyone swears it's true, no one has ever shown me serious science to the effect that the viewing of sexy, violent or highly dramatic movies causes harm to children who live in otherwise normal, healthy households.
Third, who goes to a movie and pays upwards of $10 to see a flick about which they know nothing? There are a plethora of reviews in newspapers, on tv and the internet that will tell one all that's needed to evaluate a film--sometimes too much!
There's a movie out now, a chick flick, I believe. I think that because it has just about every middle-aged ex-engenue you can imagine in the cast. They've been advertising it pretty heavily on radio and on tv lately. The Women. I have no idea what its theme might be--probably a "he done her wrong and now after counsel from all thirty of her best friends, she's going to get revenge!"
It's rated PG, I believe, but the reason why? The list of horrid violations of the young child's eyes and ears includes things like--mature themes, sexual situations, swearing and brief smoking(!).
Brief smoking. I wonder if it's safe to assume that it doesn't mean rolling and lighting up someone's drawers. That could legitimately draw an R rating, I'll concede!
But, changing the rating of a movie because someone smokes cigarettes? That's simple Political Correctness run amok!
As the one and only individual in the whole of Stalag California who doesn't smoke but doesn't care if others do, I find this tobacco-phobia just a mite silly. Since it's been shown that second-hand smoke is not harmful, but simply a mild annoyance (as opposed to the malignantly mistaken notion that the merest whiff of cigarette smoke is more dangerous than the release of a full canister of mustard gas), we have to conclude that the anger displayed by rabid anti-tobacco fanatics at seeing someone across the street smoking a cigarette, is merely the anger of tortured souls railing against the sight of someone enjoying himself.
Sadly, many of the denizens of Hollywood and surroundings fit into this category. So, we have a war against smoking by movie and tv characters.
Ok, so my reaction may be just a bit over the top. Why should anyone smoke, anyway. Smoking, while not actually dangerous to the passers by, is dangerous to the smoker himself.
But, so is drinking. So is driving--whether done in conjunction with drinking or not. So is skiing. The list is long. We all live with danger. Why shouldn't we try to squeeze a little pleasure out of life, each in his own chosen way?
Humphrey Bogart is still cool!