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Zach and Mimi Make an (R-rated) Porno

by Odie Henderson August 6, 2008 9:46 am
Zach and Mimi Make an (R-rated) Porno Since its inception in 1990, the MPAA has slapped the NC-17 on several undeserving movies. It has also withheld said application on more deserving films, either due to public fear or corporate pressure. Both cases yield ridiculous results. For example, Martin Lawrence's comedy concert film, You So Crazy, is rated NC-17, yet Mel Gibson's The Passion is rated R. One film spends 90 minutes talking about crap, Prince and getting a piece, the other spends over two hours beating the crap out of the Prince of Peace. Actions speak louder than words, and should be rated as such. If I go on a date, and we spend the evening talking, that's R (for profanity and sex-related begging). If I'm invited upstairs "for coffee" at the end of the date, that's NC-17 (for graphic sexu--oh, who am I kidding--for brief sexuality and extreme charity). Kevin Smith probably used a similar example when the MPAA rated his actionless film Clerks NC-17. He had more 'splainin' to do than Lucy Ricardo, however, when they slapped the dreaded rating on his latest, Zach and Mimi Make A Porno.

E! Online reports that the third time is the charm for Smith's film. After three submissions to the ratings board, Smith obtained the contractually required R necessary to get the Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks comedy into a theater near you. The mere implication of Seth Rogen in a porno is enough to draw the NC-107 (no one admitted unless dead and burning in hell) rating, but there's a bigger problem at hand here. The contractual R, a staple on all studio-financed films, proves to me that greedy-ass Hollywood wants 12-year-old boys to see all its movies, no matter how inappropriate. Rogen says of Porno "[t]his is not anything outside of what we've done before. The word 'porno' is in the title, and that kind of freaks people out." That may be true, but shouldn't porn-related material be proudly rated NC-17 and kept out of view of kids? Why has Smith's film been seemingly downgraded from 42nd Street to Skinemax?

I'm tired of somebody's snot-nosed kid causing my movies to be censored. The title of Smith's film alone implies that it isn't for the under-17 crowd, so why butcher it so they can see it? This is big studio and MPAA hypocrisy at its finest, matched only by my experience with the trailer for John Waters' A Dirty Shame. I took my niece and nephew to see something age-appropriate and the theater decided to run the trailer for the NC-17 rated Tracey Ullman film. They could do this because the MPAA allowed a green-band (all audiences) trailer for the film. "The following preview is approved for all audiences," the familiar screen said. "The film advertised has been rated NC-17 for pervasive sexuality." I said "Say what!?" Then my niece asked, "Uncle Odie, what's pervasive sexuality?" I didn't know she could read that well at that age, but I did have a G-rated answer. "Ask your mother," I told her.

I'm a little depressed that Smith didn't take his NC-17 and raise the rating above his head like a foul-mouthed, perverted Norma Rae, before throwing it through the window of a Blockbuster Video (which won't rent NC-17's) like Mookie in Do the Right Thing.

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