R-rated Question of the Day

Today, I was interviewed by Paul Asay of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In. We had a delightful conversation about Christian discernment at the movies. I respect Plugged In’s focus on helping us be discerning moviegoers and discerning parents.

It was a very encouraging exchange*, and I’m grateful to Mr. Asay for his thoughtful questions. He was the model of a good interviewer: respectful, educated, challenging, and gracious. I’ll let you know when the conversation is posted.

And speaking of being concerned about what our families see on the big screen, here’s a question that occurred to me today: Doesn’t it strike you as odd that a movie in which a character says the word “fuck” will get an R-rating, but a movie in which the main character is a likable Playboy bunny can be Rated PG-13?

I wonder how many kids are on their way to see The House Bunny this weekend.

Pardon my French, but something seems seriously @#$%ed up here.

*The conversation with Paul Asay was a good reminder for me that there are people at Focus who value what those of us at ChristianityTodayMovies.com are doing, as opposed to a certain editor who publishes lies and slander about us. (No, still no apology from Focus on the Family yet for referring to CT’s critics as sexual perverts, but I have been receiving off-the-record, personal apologies from individuals within Focus who are horrified by the “boundless” accusations from a certain website editor there.)

 

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • coffeemonkey

    So, shouldn’t you have included in your title “Warning: PG-13 rated!” instead, given your comment on Bunnies versus language?

  • grdthepoint

    I’d like to second Scott C.’s request. I’m looking forward to reading the interview.

  • Buddy

    In other words, it’s unacceptable to say the word, but defining yourself by it is OK. It’s kind of like certain religious traditions in which saying the word @$$hole is an abominable sin, but being one seems to be a prerequisite for leadership.

  • gaith

    I believe “The American President” holds the record with three f-bombs, none used in a sexual context.

  • petertchattaway

    Up to five f-bombs in a PG-13 film? I don’t think so. For as long as I can remember — going back to 1987′s Throw Momma from the Train — the rule has been no more than one, or maaaaybe two, and only if the word is never used in a sexual context. (In that film, a book written by one of the characters had to be renamed “100 Women I’d Like to Pork” because “pork” was acceptably PG-13 and, uh, the other word was not. Even though the filmmakers said that they personally found “pork” more offensive.)

  • Darrel Manson

    What’s wrong with Playboy bunnies? Films about waitresses or barmaids are something to avoid? Of course with Playboy Clubs a thing of the (now getting to be) distant past (except in Las Vegas – but that is a whole other culture), the role of bunny isn’t much understood. They dressed no more provacatively than Hooter girls.

  • Scott C.

    Will you let us know when and where the interview will be published?

  • ladypartain

    Maybe it’s because THAT WORD is just more offensive.

  • azhiashalott

    This continues a trend I’ve noticed — I’m increasingly less offended by movies rated R than by those deemed acceptable for a PG-13 rating.

  • http://www.conversantlife.com/blogs/natebell natebell

    I believe the MPAA will allow a film to use the f-bomb up to five times without resorting to an R. I’ve seen The House Bunny, and would say it probably falls somewhere between a PG-13 and an R. This is where the more nuanced UK rating system (Uc, U, PG, 12A, 12, 15, 18, R18) would come in handy!

  • grdthepoint

    It strikes me as very odd indeed.


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