I have some friends that are like the Siskel and Ebert of movie profanity. (I know that one of them is dead, but if I said “Siskel and Roper” I’m not sure the opener would have worked the same way.) Whenever I ask them how a movie was, the first thing they say is, “It was pretty good, but it had 14 swears. Couple of S’s, one GD, seven F’s and one MF.”
I think that’s funny. It’s interesting to me that out of all the ways movies might negatively influence us, it’s swears we worry about. It just feels inconsistent. Why give other sinful things a free pass? Why just pick on swearing? Shouldn’t we also count things like idolatry? Anytime someone in a movie drives a really nice car or lives in a home bigger than us and we feel a little jealous of their life, that should count as one “idol.” I mean every super hero movie on the planet is written so that men in the audience think, “It would be so cool to be that guy.” Sorry Iron Man. Or stealing, anytime someone steals a car in a movie to chase down a bad guy that should count as stealing.
Better yet, here’s what we should do. Instead of rating movies as thumbs up or thumbs down or on a star system, let’s rate them on the percent of the ten commandments they violated. We’ll print the commandments out, add little check boxes and then start reviewing movies. Sure people will stare, but it will make just as much sense as counting swears.