Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Smoking" in the Ratings

Every Thursday the Staten Island Advance produces the AWE: Advance Weekly Entertainment. It is exclusive to what's going on in film, television, and theatre for the week. I was reading through the AWE that was published on Christmas Eve when I came across a movie review for 'Nine'. First of all, let me just tell you how excited I am that Rob Marshall has directed another movie musical! You know him best for his work on a little movie called 'Chicago'. As I was reading the review, I happened to notice the rating box. Here is what it said: "RATED PG-13 FOR SEXUAL CONTENT & SMOKING." Smoking included in the ratings? I have never seen that before. Of course, this grabbed my attention because of my platform. So I decided to do some research about my discovery.

The Motion Picture Association of America made a news release on May 10, 2007 stating on-screen smoking has been added to its movie rating system alongside sex, violence, and language. CEO Dan Glickman states that movies that "glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of an historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating." Movies that include smoking are given a PG-13 rating.

It is about time smoking was included in the ratings. I have also believed that the influence of Hollywood affects many people, especially with our teens. Teens admire Hollywood celebrities as their idols. Many of them imitate what they do just to be like them. This includes smoking. If they see their favorite actor or actress smoking a cigarette, then they believe it is okay to do because a celebrity is doing it. I appreciate the rating board acknowledging the public health dangers to children associated with smoking.

Last night I got the chance to go to the movie theatre to see 'Nine'. I completely understand why smoking was incorporated in the rating. The main character Guido, played by Daniel Day Lewis, is a chain smoker! Every time you see him he is smoking a cigarette. He is constantly asking for another cigarette even if he already has a lite one in his hand. There are other characters that smoke throughout the film but they are nothing compared to the amount of toxins Guido is inhaling. It is important for teens to know that although many famous actors are smoking in this film IT IS NOT HEALTHY! Still, definitely go see this film. The musical numbers are exciting and entertaining (especially Be Italian) and the cast does a brilliant job with this Tony Award winning musical.