Home Movies WTF? Charming “Win Win” Gets an R Rating for Two F Bombs

What a night for director Tom McCarthy in New York. His third film, “Win Win,” premiered to a hot crowd that included stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Burt Young and Bobby Cannavale. Then Amy and Tom’s pal, Patricia Clarkson, co-hosted a party for them at the low ceiling’d bar under the Chelsea Hotel. Into the sardine tin like saloon came John Slattery and Talia Balsam, Kyra Sedgwick, Rachel Dratch, and Carol Alt. Giamatti–perhaps overwhelmed by the number of people per square inch, bailed early. But Ryan–getting ready for a last big run on “The Office” before her character, Holly, heads off into the sunset with Steve Carell’s Michael Scott–hung around with Clarkson. They’re old, good friends.

Clarkson, by the way, had to leave early, too. She’s off to New Orleans where she and Bryan Batt (“Mad Men”) are doing readings on Friday and Sunday of “Love Letters.” It’s to raise money for Le Petit Theatre, built in 1916. It’s the longest running continuous theater in the US.

Meantime, no one could quite figure out why “Win Win,” a charming, smart film, has an R rating. Apparently it’s because the “F” word is used a couple of times by a wrestling coach trying to rev up his high school team. This is why the MPAA must be overhauled immediately. “Win Win” should be seen by high school kids without a doubt. And it’s easily a movie that parents can go to with their high school age kids. There’s no sex, nudity, or violence. Just those two words. The MPAA should be ashamed of itself.

Also on the scene, director Tony Gilroy, who still hasn’t made his final choice for star of the new “Bourne” movie. I said, “Tony, how is everything?” “Fine,” he responded. “Just fine. Just print that.” He’s keeping mum for now, awaiting the formal announcement.

photo c2011 Showbiz411/Ann Lawlor

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
6 replies to this post
  1. I agree with Dana. It’s drug use and gratuitous sex that offends me. And even though my kids hear profanity at school and in the movies, they don’t use it, because we don’t.

  2. Film-makers use too much profanity, and it has an influential effect on young people. A film meant to be seen by teenagers should not use profanity.

  3. It’s all backwards. The Social Network was PG-13 with some pretty explicit gratuitous sex and drug use and The King’s Speech was R because the king used some naughty words in therapy out of all context. I would much prefer my 11 & 13 year olds to see The Kings Speech.

  4. Do the math people. Drop the F Bombs or rather , get rid of them . They are unnecessary. Show some command of the English language and creativity in your dialogue instead of defaulting to the easy fallback catchall adjective, adverb, noun, verb etc, the f-word.
    I would like to take my kids to some of these otherwise good movies without having to worry about these totally unnecessary profanities.Don’t criticize the MPAA, criticize the filmmaker. I totally support the MPAA in this.
    And I really wanted to take the kids to this. We love Giammatti and we love wrestling. We will watch it on Clearplay when it comes out.

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