Rated R for Ridiculous.

What is the difference between “Crude Humor” and “Rude Humor”? Which is more offensive? I’ll be damned if I know. These are but two of the terms the MPAA board attaches to its letter-ratings in order to support its decisions—or to provide extra guidance. Clearly, it is failing to achieve either goal.

And just why did the movie above (whatever it was) earn a PG-13 for “Irreverent Humor Throughout”? Is humor that reveres authority the only kind our young children may be exposed to without caution? Good thing Bugs Bunny isn’t around to see this.

Another favorite stupid warning of mine is “Thematic Elements.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Why is that even a warning? I actually prefer all my movies with thematic elements, thank you—otherwise, they’re two hours of random meaninglessness.

Or this one: “Language.” Haven’t most movies since the arrival of sound contained language? For that matter, even silent films did, on title cards. Again, I generally prefer my movies to have language, and don’t get why the presence of it is a red flag.

I’ve been railing about this for years to anyone who would listen (or pretend to). Now, Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune is railing about it, too.


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