December 29, 2009

The MPAA Strikes Again

In recent years, the 40 year old MPAA has been the subject of some controversies over their increasingly bizarro ratings system.  Last week, the romantic comedy "It's Complicated" was stuck with a surprise R rating for, and I quote, "pot smoking with no bad consequences".  Unbelievably, that is a direct quote. Suddenly, the MPAA thinks it's 1934 and they have enacted the arcane rules of the Hays Code in their ratings "system".  Back in the 30's, bad guys could be really really bad, but only if they got their comeuppance.  

There is a wonderfully angry article about this latest ratings travesty in the LA TIMES which gets to the heart of the matter which is that the ratings system makes no sense.  You can blow someone to smithereens and get a PG but if you show a bare breast or, god forbid, a penis you are R.  Any kind of homosexuality used to mean an instant R but the Board has let up on that in some cases.  But this latest ruling re; the pot is absurd.  First of all, marijuana is actually legal in California so why should bad consequences be expected? 

The MPAA needs some serious recalibration of it's system and the way it operates.  Or, in the case of this movie, the way that it doesn't.  

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