As almost everyone agrees, the MPAA is a hopelessly corrupt tool of the larger studios, and culturally, we seem to have decided that an erect penis or exposed labes are somehow worse than someone getting shot in the face (with a gun), no matter how little sense that makes. Richard Linklater’s fantastic ‘Boyhood’ was recently given an R rating by the MPAA, despite having no violence and not much in the way of other “risqué” content. As a result, the IFC Center in New York has taken the bold step of actually using their own discretion in admitting minors. …In BED. Kidding, of course, only in theaters.
While the MPAA has assigned BOYHOOD a rating of R, recommending that no one under 17 be admitted without a parent or guardian, IFC Center feels that the film is appropriate viewing for mature adolescents. Accordingly, the theater will admit high school age patrons at its discretion. [IFC]
Of course, it’s a bit of a self-serving step, considering ‘Boyhood’ is being distributed by… you guessed it, IFC Films. Still, even if they’re doing it for the wrong reasons (and I doubt they’re making money hand over fist on the unaccompanied teenage cineaste market), it’s the right thing to do. The way the MPAA rates movies (and there’s an entire documentary about it if you’re curious) it’s almost as if they give worse ratings to any films that treat the audience as if they have the brain of an adult, regardless of whether there’s actually anything “offensive” in it. Meanwhile, if you read any gossip magazines, you realize that the absolutely worst, most destructive thing you can expose your child to isn’t R-rated movies, it’s the Disney Channel. A Scorsese movie might give a little kid nightmares, while the Disney Channel will break you psychologically forever.
Also, as an only child, the only time I saw actual kids movies as a kid was when my little league coach took me, and he’s in jail for molesting people now, so maybe “accompanied by a guardian” isn’t the safest movie-admittance guideline.