OK, I just watched a clip from Monday's premiere of the 90210 revamp on the CW, that's apparently California's answer to Gossip Girl. And within the first five minutes of the debut episode, a character received a blowjob in a car parked outside a school. You can't hear anything or see anything but a girl's head suddenly coming up from a guy's lap, but to pretty much anyone who has made it through middle school, the sexual context is clear.
Now. Into a culture in which that scene is primetime viewing comes the new poster for Zack and Miri Make a Porno. And in that poster is the tamest, smallest blowjob reference you could possibly imagine-- the two stars, fully clothed, with the head of the other star hovering somewhere around their crotch area. Since I know that's hard to picture, it's the image up at the left. And just in case there was anything remotely sexy about the image, Seth Rogen is featured, and Elizabeth Banks is wearing clothing only appropriate when you're a 12-year-old on a ski vacation.
So how did the MPAA react to this poster, which makes a sexual reference so subtle only those in the know would get it? Uh, they banned it. Only our neighbors in Canada, which seems more delightful the longer I listen to the Republican National Convention in the other room, will get to see the poster in their multiplexes. As EW.com reports, director Kevin Smith is more amused than annoyed by the MPAA's whackjob decision: "When you've got the word 'porno' in the title, naturally, the marketing materials are gonna be scrutinized more closely by the MPAA. I understand they've got a job to do, but c'mon...this image isn't that dirty; they're both fully clad."
If you're not frustrated enough with America's ridiculous, puritan attitude toward anything sexual, how about some hypocrisy instead? Take a look at this image that was used to promote Good Luck Chuck last year-- you know, the Dane Cook vehicle we were all subjected to? Yup, that's Dane Cook shirtless, with a head hovering near his crotch-- eerily similar to the one hanging out with Seth Rogen in the Zack and Miri poster. And the MPAA approved that one. A shirtless Dane Cook receiving a suggested blowjob is fine, but a fully clothed Seth Rogen isn't. I'll give you a moment to sit there and scratch your head.
I could pull up all the horrendously violent posters for the Saw and Hostel movies to further illustrate my point, but I don't really feel like making myself ill. This isn't the first or last time the MPAA has made a ridiculous decision about approving a poster, but it's one of the sillier ones. But hey, given how much Smith struggled to even get the movie rated R, I suppose we should be grateful we'll even see posters for it at all.
Poster comparison, side by side: