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Monday, January 4, 2010

Rethinking marijuana in the movies

The MPAA is fooling itself more than protecting children by giving an R rating to 'It's Complicated' for a scene depicting marijuana use.

December 18, 2009|By Robert Ablon

A minor ruckus has erupted in Hollywood over the R rating assigned to the Meryl Streep romantic comedy, "It's Complicated," as reported in The Times' Dec. 10 post on the Company Town blog, "It's complicated, but 'It's Complicated' will be released with an R rating." According to The Times, those familiar with the Motion Picture Assn. of America's hearing on the movie say a scene featuring "pot smoking with no bad consequences" was key to the decision. But imagine the ratings wars that the MPAA's latest warnings will ignite:

"This film is rated R for brief alcohol use portrayed in a positive light."

"This film is rated R for pervasive cigarette smoking by sympathetic characters."

"This film is rated R for aberrant overeating and intense caloric consumption."

Wait, you say you haven't seen these warnings? Not a one? That's because the MPAA, the powerful group that rates movies, has never much cared for consistency. So, while few parents would want their children to engage in any of the activities listed above -- let alone the violence frequently splattered across screens -- only in the most extreme cases do these behaviors move the MPAA to issue an R rating.

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