Meryl Streep's and Alec Baldwin's new film, It's Complicated, recieved an "R" rating for depicting pot use "with no bad consequences." (L.A. Times)
The ratings the MPAA dishes out to Movies, are like Supreme Court ruilings, they are unchangeable and the act to define our morals. That's a little heavy, but it's true. Both parties shape America's values, sense of justice, and social atitudes. Only, the MPAA isn't part of our government.
The rating on "It's Complicated" has started a lot of discussion. In a country that has moved pot so close to the main stream, is it fair for the MPAA to try to sterilize our culture. Millions of Americans smoke pot everyday, and nothing happens, why shouldn't a movie be able to depict that reality?
At the very best the MPAA can say that it's speaking out for parents who do not want their children to view marijuana as an acceptable possibility of their future. In that case though marijuana should be completely excluded from films. Allowing only pot use with negative consequences, forces films to include a message on par with public service announcements. If real elements of danger are to be removed they should also definitely require violence to be "Restricted". A better idea would be to explain things to our kids so that instead of sterilizing the environment, we instead make them as strong as they need to be to handle it.
An "R" rating means the only people restricted are those 16 and under. Those under 16 require adult supervision. So what's the big deal. This is a way parents can decide what kind of movies their child watches. The issue is with the power the MPAA has over all movies. They decide what's acceptable for us without any input from us. Even many adult movies are edited extensively so that they pass standards for an "R" rating.