Bodies pile up like dirty socks in the PG-13 Avatar, but Nancy Meyers’ classy comedy It’s Complicated got an R-rating from the MPAA. What gives? According to the New York Times, board members were uneasy about a sequence in which Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin smoke marijuana at a party with no negative consequences. Seems a little strange to us, since plenty of other movies have shown similar illegal activities without tragic ends. Here’s a look at a few highlights (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Nine to Five (1980)
Crime: Coworkers Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda smoke a joint together and fantasize about offing their boss.
Consequences: None, unless you count a case of the giggles.
Beavis and Butt-head Do America (1996)
Crime: Beavis and Butt-head eat a strange cactus in the desert, prompting a lengthy sequence of heavy-metal hallucinations.
Consequences: A seriously freaky trip, but no lasting side effects.
Crime: Cher (Alicia Silverstone) gets high at a party with plenty of underage drinking.
Consequences: As if! Cher gets off scot-free.
Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
Crime: Copious drinking at a high school party. A few characters coded as stoners, but there’s no actual pot usage.
Consequences: Cops bust the party, and William (Charlie Korsmo) and Mike (Peter Facinelli) end up in jail.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
Crime: Teenage Caroline (Ari Graynor) spends most of the movie drunk.
Consequences: Caroline gets majorly lost in NYC and ends up fishing her own gum out of a toilet.
An Education (2009) Jenny (Carey Mulligan) drinks and smokes cigarettes while playing hooky from high school in 1960s Britain.
Consequences: None, but Jenny’s fast lifestyle nearly ruins her academic career.
Old Dogs (2009)
Dan (Robin Williams) hallucinates after accidentally taking a mind-altering dose of prescription medication.
Consequences: Only for the audience, who have to watch Williams’ tired slapstick.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Was the board too harsh on Meryl’s buzz? Or were they right to dish out an R?