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CJSF
2014-Mar-24, 05:06 PM
This might be a slightly odd question, but after having slogged through 2004's "The Ladykillers," I think I need some help with perspective. Generally, I liked the movie, but my enjoyment of it was hampered, in part, by the foul language throughout. In the past 10 years or so, my wife and I have not seen very many films, and when we pick ones to watch via Netflix, we usually shy away from R-rated movies, because we have developed a low tolerance of violence, sex and language. As a matter of fact, my wife left the room after the first 20 minutes of "The Ladykillers" and didn't not return until the credits. In any case, what I mean to ask is, how representative is this movie of R-movies from the last 10 years? I know to expect more profanity in R-rated moves compared to PG-13, but it seems like there should be some middle ground where something can be R-rated but still be less horrible in its language. What do you think? Are we just getting "old" and should we just deal with the language and widen our would-be film library?

Thanks,
CJSF

Gillianren
2014-Mar-24, 05:57 PM
I haven't paid attention, for the most part; language doesn't bother me except in the sense that I don't think reliance on swearing instead of being interesting is a sign of good writing. But I don't remember The Ladykillers being particularly bad in that department. Not all R-rated films have swearing, and actually it bothered me that Inside Llewyn Davis has the same rating as The Wolf of Wall Street despite having no sex, violence, drug use, nudity, or much of anything along those lines. Its entire rating was for language, which I thought was ridiculous.

SkepticJ
2014-Mar-24, 06:37 PM
I'd say learn to deal with it. IMO, R rated movies aren't that different in mature content than they were in the late '60s.

Ever seen The Graduate? Rated PG, back when it was in theaters. I'd be surprised if it wasn't given an R if made today.

Noclevername
2014-Mar-24, 06:59 PM
From the title, I thought this thread was going to be about poor grammar.

swampyankee
2014-Mar-24, 07:04 PM
I'd say learn to deal with it. IMO, R rated movies aren't that different in mature content than they were in the late '60s.

Ever seen The Graduate? Rated PG, back when it was in theaters. I'd be surprised if it wasn't given an R if made today.

We've become more accepting of depictions of violence and less so of nudity. I blame the Superbowl

Paul Beardsley
2014-Mar-24, 07:05 PM
My feeling is that bad language can be effective if reserved for rare moments of intense emotion. IIRC, there is only one bad word apiece in Blade Runner and The Thing.

But in many, many films it's as if the writers are a bunch of schoolkids who have just realised they are allowed to swear, and it resulted in terrible dialogue. Villains telling the hero, "Blank you, blank!" or the hero saying the same thing to the villain, especially in films starring Arnold S. (It was quite amusing as a one-off in the first Terminator film, but after that... just shut up!)

In real life I resist using bad words as much as possible. Being polite and articulate can demolish people when making a complaint.

Jens
2014-Mar-24, 10:14 PM
I generally agree that it can take away from a movie. But I'm not sure why it would be personally offensive. I would avoid taking kids to movies with swearing or sex, but it wouldn't bother me personally. Violence is a different story though.

Gillianren
2014-Mar-25, 12:28 AM
I haven't paid attention, for the most part; language doesn't bother me except in the sense that I don't think reliance on swearing instead of being interesting is a sign of good writing. But I don't remember The Ladykillers being particularly bad in that department. Not all R-rated films have swearing, and actually it bothered me that Inside Llewyn Davis has the same rating as The Wolf of Wall Street despite having no sex, violence, drug use, nudity, or much of anything along those lines. Its entire rating was for language, which I thought was ridiculous.

Oh, yeah--let me add that there's less swearing in Inside Llewyn Davis than Wolf of Wall Street, too.

Tog
2014-Mar-25, 06:01 AM
I recall hearing, years ago, that two instances of one particular word gives an automatic R rating. Some films had to add a that in order to get the R rating as part of the marketing process. There are many adults who avoid going to movies with a less than R rating because they don't want to sit in a theater with kids. My father was of them. As a child, I saw very few PG movies with him.

I think films have a sort of ebb and flow when it comes to various "off-color" aspects. When studios finally stood up to the Hayes Code, there was a bit of a lag, and then a number of very R and even some NC-17 (then X) burst on the scene. Sex, drugs, and language were used in liberal amounts for the next 20 or so years. As a teen boy with largely unsupervised access to movie channels in the 80's, I can say that there was an expectation of nudity in just about everything that came on that wasn't a cartoon or kid's movie. Granted, that may have had something to do with what I looked for in a film at the time.

Now, it seems that the trend toward nudity is fading. When it's present, it does seem to have a more plot-based reason to be there, at least in films that aren't aimed at teen boys. So, with nudity off the table, how do they get that magical R rating that stimulates ticket sales? Bad words. Again, this is just the way I see it happening.

The fact that "bad words" are being used so often as to become nearly acceptable in a lot of cases takes away some of the shock value. If anyone on The Flintstones said some of the thing Bart Simpson does, the show would have been pulled right away. Breaking Bad was allowed to drop one "F-bomb" per season. Other words that were formerly on the blacklist pop up from time to time on broadcast television. Comedy Central shows movies late at night that are unedited as far as language goes.

In my own writing, my main characters don't swear often, and when they do, it's appropriate tot he situation. Other characters swear more often, and less socially acceptable situations as a reflection of their personality. The cop/nemesis to my main character has a tenancy to be crass and vulgar. It comes out in his speech.

Noclevername
2014-Mar-25, 10:48 AM
In my own writing, my main characters don't swear often, and when they do, it's appropriate tot he situation. Other characters swear more often, and less socially acceptable situations as a reflection of their personality. The cop/nemesis to my main character has a tenancy to be crass and vulgar. It comes out in his speech.

In a couple of my stories, especially the YA one, the main character is in the habit of deliberately avoiding swearing either because they're a public figure, or work with children. It forces me to be more creative in my exclamations if George Carlin's "seven words" are off the table.

"Oh, that son of a Hey hey, cameraman! Didn't see you there. Stay in school, kids, winners don't use drugs."

Trebuchet
2014-Mar-25, 01:45 PM
From the title, I thought this thread was going to be about poor grammar.

That would likely bother Gillian more than actual cursing.

DonM435
2014-Mar-25, 04:07 PM
...


how do they get that magical R rating that stimulates ticket sales? Bad words. Again, this is just the way I see it happening.




Off-colorization, eh?


As the people in the films have highly paid scriptwriters, they usually come up with better lines that you or I would in the same situations, so I don't think it's always necessary to have them swear like ordinary people all the time.

Gillianren
2014-Mar-25, 04:48 PM
That would likely bother Gillian more than actual cursing.

It would!

NorthernDevo
2014-Mar-26, 08:52 PM
In a couple of my stories, especially the YA one, the main character is in the habit of deliberately avoiding swearing either because they're a public figure, or work with children. It forces me to be more creative in my exclamations if George Carlin's "seven words" are off the table.

"Oh, that son of a Hey hey, cameraman! Didn't see you there. Stay in school, kids, winners don't use drugs."

(chuckle) Both this and the post it referred to sound very familiar. My own protagonist acts in much the same way; staying away from bad language unless she's stressed out or in a bad mood. This is complicated slightly by the fact that she's got a bit of a hair trigger and can lose her temper in some very inappropriate locations. ;)

In film; I'm no fan of profanity, though it has its place. I can echo the thoughts of others above by saying it can be used as a replacement for actual good writing. Case in point: my all-time favourite film Rocky Horror Picture Show. OK; we're talking 1975 here, but that film has - in many circles - a horrendous reputation as a raunchy movie. What's actually in there is: 1 F-word; sung so quick it hardly registers, 1 bit of nudity; again very quick, just long enough for the brain to think "hey was that..." and one example of violence; never actually seen. The rest is a joyfully outrageous blend of clever innuendo, suggestion and double entendre. Absolutely top-notch writing and acting bring it off without a hitch. If made today; I doubt RHPS would have been anything like so good. Given the risque story; modern writers would (or possibly would) simply have thrown a whole lot of profanity and nudity into it and the magic would (IMO) have been destroyed.

Gillianren
2014-Mar-26, 10:19 PM
The Rocky Horror Picture Show came out in 1975. The height of blaxploitation (you have no idea how much I want to see Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold), a genre not exactly known for its restraint in matters of sex, violence, and swearing. A year which also gave us a film called The Happy Hooker. Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. Linda Lovelace for President. Nashville, which many people consider a classic but which I loathe because of the appalling misogyny--which culminates in a woman forced to strip in front of a hooting crowd of men. Which is also, it's worth pointing out, not exactly devoid of swearing. Altman films in general weren't. And so forth. You can't compare one film to all modern films without a look at the other films from its era. A lot of them were just as full of profanity and nudity as the films of today. It just so happens that Rocky Horror isn't one of them.

NorthernDevo
2014-Mar-27, 12:45 AM
Er....yes....

Which is, as I mentioned, one of the reasons I like it. I'm not sure why I should have to compare it to those atrocious-sounding films you mentioned in order to like it. :confused:

Edit - because I mentioned the year? If so I was only placing it in a time frame; not suggesting that '70's movies were less exploitive or profane. (shrug)

Gillianren
2014-Mar-27, 01:36 AM
I've gotten a lot of "films were better then!" lately that seems to revolve around only being able to remember six films from any given year.

swampyankee
2014-Mar-27, 07:47 PM
I've gotten a lot of "films were better then!" lately that seems to revolve around only being able to remember six films from any given year.

It's the nostalgia craze. I don't think films of the 1970s were better, nor was TV (well, there was less dreck on TV, but there was much less TV for it to be on). I also don't think that there has been, on average, an improvement. Foul language, however, seems to be much more acceptable, even in public. A lot of tweens swear enough to make a longshoreman blush.