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What Once Was a PG Rating

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By patjohnson76 - 11/07/11 at 10:27 AM CT

Yesterday I decided to revisit a film I haven't seen since...well, probably when Reagan was President, Tootsie. For those of you who haven't seen it, it's one of Dustin Hoffman's best films - a 1982 comedy about an actor who, struggling to find work, decides to dress as a woman and audition for a soap opera. He gets the role and wouldn't you know it, his character becomes a break-out star. Add in a crush on a female co-star (Jessica Lange, in an Oscar-winning role) and a couple of older men who find "Dorothy" attractive and you've got a smart comedy.

What struck me was as I was watching the film, I noticed it's PG rating - a rating that in no way would stand if the film was released today. In addition to a few f-bombs and multiple other uses of profanity, you've got some sexual innuendo and same-sex jokes that would never allow the film to receive that rating today. Interestingly, the film originally was given an R rating but it was lowered to PG on appeal.

Of course, the main factor to keep in mind was Tootsie came out before the PG-13 rating, but this just amazed me at how strict the MPAA has become. Tootsie would in no way get a PG rating today. Hell, I don't think it would even get a PG-13. I can remember my parents renting this on VHS as I was a kid and I watched it then too, but there wasn't any shock or horror at my young mind being exposed to this film. I guess life was a lot simpler in the 80s and we didn't worry so much if the F-bomb came out in a film.

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