I don’t usually watch Rated R comedies. Well, except for the times when I do. Like just recently. Then I remember why I don’t watch Rated R comedies.
I didn’t make this a strict rule for my life. It’s more of a general guideline. For some reason, as soon as I start making rules I want to break them. They’re like a siren song beckoning me to the rocks.
In the past few years, the “Restricted” rating has become progressively unrestricted. It’s one thing to have the freedom to break new ground and it’s another thing to default to the shock factor for cheap laughs. It’s the latter that many times takes the place of genuine humor.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a few genuinely funny parts in this particular movie.
But overall, it reminded me of why I’m hesitant to watch Rated R comedies.
Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’m becoming a prude. I mean, kicking a guy in the crotch is one thing but a scene showing a man fully nude as a joke? That’s not funny or clever, it’s just trying to cash in on the shock factor. I don’t remember exactly when we started equating raunchy with funny but now I’m stuck with images I can’t unsee.
My therapist will be hearing about this one.
I’m not a fan of using a bunch of rules to determine “clean living”. But staying away from Rated R comedies has proved to be a pretty good boundary for me. But what I also realize is what works for me, may not work for everyone. I know some people who do extensive research before even watching a PG-13 movie. I know others who stay away from movies all together. I can respect both of those decisions.
But the difference between a rule and a boundary is when you break a rule, you have to suffer punishment and when you cross a boundary, you experience a consequence.
Rules set an external standard and boundaries set an internal standard.
I’m not going to punish myself for watching that movie. Becoming intimately acquainted with a naked man against my will was enough of a consequence for me to learn my lesson.
Question: How do you make decisions about the movies you watch?
[photo: Sarah_Ackerman Creative Commons]