Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Missing school and smoking in films....

I came across this article today online, which initially I thought was going to be about rebooting the current ratings system in the US, but instead was largely about characters smoking in movies ( This Article is Not Yet Rated ). First off, it made me miss being in school like crazy. This is just the sort of article I would HAVE to get into a paper somewhere, or devise writing an article further exploring the argument itself. 

And like all things currently, I have to make it tie back to our impending parent-dom, and what kind of parent am I going to be in letting our kids watch this or that. Because the article itself is so devoted to the argument of smoking, let's start there.

I can honestly say, I don't think I know anyone who would admit to smoking because they thought it looked cool in movies. Sure, when we were little we all mimed it (you know you did!), but when it came to actually trying a cigarette for the first time, all I could think about it how horrid it smelt and I couldn't wait to get the stink off my fingers. Now when I was 22 I did start smoking, but that was more an extension to drinking, and when the drinking dried up, so did my smoking habit. 

I can recall as a youngster being taken to 3 different rated-R movies at the cinema by my Mom. 
1. The Good Son
2. Ransom
3. The Birdcage

Apparently thrillers and gay comedies were a-okay in her book (and God love her for it!). But I remember being forbidden to watch Natural Born Killers, even tho I wanted to watch it more than anything. Eventually it came on cable and instead of sneaking and watching, I went into her bathroom where she was getting dressed, told her it was on, and I was going to go ahead and watch it. Honesty was always the way to go in our house, and I know I probably would have been grounded if she walked in and saw me watching it instead. 

If all the smoking in movies now are relegated to R-rated films, and assuming it just the baddies and rebels lighting up now, does it make it less of a threat when your 13 year old is offered their first cigarette? Will they sit and think "Well, I never see Jennifer Aniston lighting up in movies, and she's my favorite actress, so I think I'm going to give a pass". Um, no....not reality. 

Why is smoking suddenly so dangerous that it's rarely seen or spoken about in films today? Yet guns and violence are still okay? Whatever happened to just common sense? If I want my kids to see this, I'll let them watch it, and if I don't, I won't let them. And honestly, they're going to get to an age where if they really want to watch it, they are going to. (That's a whole nuther story about me and A Clockwork Orange right there...). 

This is hardly a very concise argument or train of thought, but....I am slightly worried that we're going to be seeing that closing clip from Thank You For Smoking a reality. You know, the one where old movies with smoking are digitally re-mastered and altered to remove cigarettes. Bette Davis without her smoke curls? No thank you.....

No comments: