By Felicia DeInnocentiis | Staff Writer
As someone who has been unfortunately carded at the movie theaters in the past, I’m always the first to sneer and roll my eyes during the trailer reels, when the most glorious scenes of potential cinema classics are flashed before my eyes with a painstakingly stamped “Rated R” tag.
Granted, not all great movies have a restricted rating, but some of the most memorable are. The 2011 Academy Award nominations included The King’s Speech, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, and The Fighter; all R-rated and all nominated for Best Picture. The King’s Speech won valiantly (although I believe it was wrongly rated, for the only adult content in it was language, which wasn’t even used suggestively).
But as great as these movies are, I must admit that the people of my generation do not sneak in to see Colin Firth battle a speech impediment. We sneak and find loopholes to get into the raunchy, gratuitous, oh-so-wrong-yet-oh-so-right movies that make us laugh until we cry and cringe. Recently, these include The Hangover (which is ranked the third top-grossing rated-R film), Paranormal Activity, Get Him to the Greek, and every single flick in the Jackass saga.
What causes us to crave these movies? Why do we conduct such elaborate, Mission Impossible sneak-ins and bribe our parents to witness these far-from-classy pictures? Because it’s an easy laugh that’s guaranteed to entertain us in the moment.
With the R-rating comes almost no responsibility. These vulgar movies are close to unlimited in the potential for humor, as they are granted free reign and crude, lowbrow topics to exploit therein.
These shock factors are, to say the least, epic, but they shouldn’t be taken too seriously as to card a sixteen-year-old from seeing taking part in the fun. I agree, the ratings are there for a reason: to inform the viewer of exactly what their money is buying and to serve as a guideline for parents. But if you really think about it, are these films any more vulgar than some of the shows we see on cable television? Between Skins, Family Guy, and South Park, today’s teens are fairly desensitized to crude humor and sexual content.
In this modern age of film, it’s hard to create a truly innocent movie without forfeiting a profit. The majority of films released are either PG or PG-13, followed by Rated-R and G. G movies are going extinct, with only 5 releases this year; two being animal documentaries and the other focused on Justin Beiber. Rated-R films out-populate the G features, 8.6 to 1. Hollywood is catering to the audience in its releases; and boy, do we like ‘crude’. I am no exception. So on the day of my seventeenth birthday, I will be celebrating the knowledge that I can finally watch my beloved cinema in peace.