Will R rating stop young teens from taking 'Dare'?

May 17, 1991|By Sujata Massey | Sujata Massey,Evening Sun Staff

IF YOU'RE PLANNING to see "Truth or Dare," Madonna's tell-all documentary, expect passionate dance performances, plenty of skimpy outfits and lots of sexy chatter.

You can also expect to see lots of teen-agers, possibly clad in the black lace the singer favors. But while Madonna "wannabes," as they have been called, are among the singer's biggest admirers, they are also technically too young to see "Truth or Dare," which is rated R.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, nobody under 17 can be admitted to an R-rated picture without an accompanying parent or guardian.

"Truth or Dare," filmed during the 1990 Blond Ambition tour, has been called a family portrait. Madonna, her male dancers, boyfriends, support staff and friends all whirl together in a mischievous maelstrom. There are scenes of Madonna having her throat examined by a doctor, vibrant concert performances and a simulation of a bedroom act during a game of "Truth or Dare."

While any minor can see the movie with a parent, many teens prefer the challenge of getting into the movie with a best friend. That could be easy or difficult, depending on the theater being patronized.

For example, at United Artists Theaters at Golden Ring Mall, an assistant manager who asked not to be identified says, "as far as the Madonna movie goes, we treat it like any other R-rated movie. If it's rated R and a parent expresses wishes for a child to see the film, that's OK." The manager says that as long as a parent or guardian has purchased a child's ticket, that child may enter the theater alone.

Of greater concern to the Golden Ring theater is the comedian Andrew Dice Clay's film, "Dice Rules," also opening today. "Dice Rules" contains ethnic, racial and sexual slurs, the mainstay of the New York performer's comedy routines. The film is rated NC-17, a recently created ratings category meant to include films of an adult, but not pornographic, nature. When a film is rated NC-17, absolutely no one under 17 may be admitted, with or without a parent.

"We've had lots of people expressing concern about movies that are rated NC-17, and this is our first NC-17 movie at the theater," said the manager, who will post extra employees as ID checkers along with the ticket takers. The manager says film-goers will be asked for identification first at the box office when they are sold tickets, and again when their tickets are taken.

Last Monday, the theater tried out its new ID policy during a free preview of "Dice Rules" for people who won tickets through a radio contest. "People were posted so [theater-goers] could not enter the theater without ID," said the manager.

At United Artists Theaters at Marley Station Mall, "Truth or Dare" is being heavily promoted throughout the mall with tie-ins at stores and big visual and video displays. This Saturday night, assistant manager Jeff Albright says dancers from the Arthur Murray Dance Studios will demonstrate Madonna's famous version of the "Vogue" in the theater lobby. The movie theater employees will wear Madonna T-shirts.

Albright is "not exactly sure" whom the film will attract but says, "We are expecting the 17- to 24-year-old age group."

Although the theater is doing more than usual to promote the film, it is maintaining its regular identification screening during ticket sales.

"At our theater, we always ask at box office for ID," says Albright. "And if [minors] get by the box office, they have to be accompanied by the adult, not just a ticket, to get in."

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