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Movie Rating Ridiculousness

Last night, my husband and I waited for our nine-year-old, music-loving, piano-playing, song-writing daughter to go to sleep before watching the movie Once, which the MPAA in its reactionary wisdom slapped with an R rating. Normally we try, as much as possible, to make up our own minds about these things. We realized a few years ago with Bend it Like Beckham , which is rated PG-13 (apparently for sports bras, a kiss, and the word “lesbian”) that we wouldn’t let them decide what was and wasn’t appropriate for our kid, at least when it came to PG v. PG-13. I’d lazily assumed that an R meant at the least some serious sex or violence. Well, this beautiful film, made on a budget of a hundred-thousand Euros, is rated R purely for language. A few Irish-style f**ks fer f**k’s sake. Most American ears can’t even hear them. Among the movies currently in theaters which the MPAA thinks more appropriate for my kid (and yours) are:
The Kite Runner, which involves the rape of a child. I Am Legend, a sweet, post-apocalyptic tale about the last man on earth trying to avoid being eaten by “virus-crazed ex-humans.” Juno, which is wonderful and probably rated right at PG-13. But Once, where no one has sex, or hits anyone is worse? Lars and the Real Girl. Starring a sex mannequin.

This is too easy . . .

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I understand that in some

I understand that in some cases producers push for R ratings hoping to enhance a film's attractiveness to audiences. G and PG can stifle some films. So perhaps the R rating of Once was self-induced. Be honest, would you have chosen it if it were rated PG?

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Honestly? Sure.

Hey thanks for the comment. Sure I would. I'd heard about the film on NPR and was interested in seeing it before I knew anything about the rating. I really don't pay attention to ratings for my own movie choices. Rather, I read reviews and listen to friends' suggestions.

Rosemary Graham

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Ratings Show MPAA's Preference

The ratings show the MPAA's preference for violence over sex. Although I don't think that sexually graphic content is more suitable for kids than violence I agree that the current system doesn't make any sense and should be changed.

Creating better content for children is another option.

Abe Mertens