As I was checking my e-mail today I happened to glimpse a brief profile of the new film version of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory that opens this weekend. What caught my eye and made me pause was the MPAA Rating: "PG for quirky situations, action and mild language."
"Quirky situations?" Knowing what I do of Roald Dahl, Johnny Depp, and Tim Burton I certainly don't doubt it, but it made me wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the meeting of the raters. Here is how I imagine that went:
"Okay, let's see here. We've got a child more or less drowning in chocolate...another being assaulted by squirrels...an unfortunate shrinking incident... Morris, what do you think?"
"Well, sir, I wouldn't exactly categorize those as violence, but nevertheless they are a little unsettling. Jackson, what's your take?"
"Um, it seems that they're definitely 'awkward' situations, but I think it's deeper than that. They're so unusual, I'm not sure what to do with them."
"Unusual, huh? You're right. In fact, I'd almost say, 'Quirky.'"
"Morris, that's it! Quirky situations. Perfectly descriptive and yet ambiguous. So, do we think this is innocuous G-rated quirkiness or disturbing enough for PG?"
Sigh. I wonder if Roald Dahl would take "quirky" as a compliment or whether he would mutter something about how these people missed the whole point. I'll have to reread the book and catch the movie to decide.