Adult ratings

Art Buchwald

July 22, 1993|By Art Buchwald

DEAR Mr. Valenti:

I know that you have spent most of your professional life protecting children from sex and violence in the movies. You have accomplished this by designating ratings from G to PG to R to X.

While your concern has been for young people, it seems that you have no ratings to protect adults from the motion pictures being shown today.

I realized this when I decided to go to see a film last night. Much to my horror everything playing was for children. Not one movie was aimed at the adult mind. I had my choice of "Rookie of the Year," "Jurassic Park," "Free Willy," "Hocus Pocus" and "Cliffhanger." Each of these is guaranteed to make oatmeal of a person's brain.

Mr. Valenti, you owe it to the mature citizens of America to warn them against films that will either scare the heck out of them or make them sick to their stomachs.

I'd like to suggest that these kinds of ratings be tacked on to pictures in the future. When more than 1,179 people are shot, the film could receive a GMAB rating, which means "Give Me A Break." If a movie has more than 54 car crashes, it should get a VS for "Violence Sucks." Films like "Wayne's World" should carry C6 rating, which means an adult could attend only if accompanied by a 6-year-old child.

Mr. Valenti, we are getting sick and tired of being left at home because nothing decent is being shown in the theaters. We represent part of the population, too, and there is something wrong when Hollywood ignores us completely just because kids buy more popcorn.

It's time you took a stand and ordered the studios to make one adult film for every 10 pieces of junk aimed at the subteen audience.

Not everyone in this country is taken with Arnold Schwarzenegger. While his films are serious and thought-provoking, many adults have terrible dreams at night after seeing one of them.

"Cliffhanger" with Sylvester Stallone is absolutely not suitable for anybody over 9 years old.

Your job as movie czar is to alert the public that a mature person will attend a Stallone movie at his own risk.

The truth is that after "Home Alone" every studio is determined to make a motion picture starring a 10-year-old child who outfoxes all the grown-ups in the film.

Frankly, I think that this keeps my choices down to nil.

If you really care about us adults, Mr. Valenti, I implore you to persuade the powers that be that while we may not be the greatest market for their products, we still deserve a few good pictures every summer.

I have nothing against "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," but I've seen it 34 times since it was originally released, and I'm hoping your people can come up with something more topical for those of us over 21.

Mr. Valenti, I am not a chronic complainer. All I am doing is pleading for guidelines for adults concerning pictures made for children. We have to know what the kids' pictures contain so that we don't go to them and waste our money.

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