When I was a kid, I asked my dad how they decided the ratings for various movies. His response went something like: “Well, they screen it for a bunch of old ladies. And if one of them cries, ‘Oh my Goodness!’ and clutches her purse, it’s rated R.” If you’ve seen Kirby Dick’s This Film is Not Yet Rated, you know that this description is not far off.
It seems like they are not interested in shaking off this mold. Their most recent triumph is giving an R rating to the documentary Bully, apparently because of strong language. Because, God knows that our innocent children never use strong language. Why, I myself was 25 before I first heard the word “fuck” and fainted dead away when it was first uttered in my innocent presence.
I wouldn’t believe they could surpasses the PG-13 they gave Whale Rider because some pot paraphernalia was in the background of a scene, but they just did. Bully may suck ass for all I know. But it’s targeted at potential victims of bullying. And those victims are not over 18.