Many avoided seeing You Can Count On Me, no doubt because it is Rated "R." Some will steer clear because, among other things, the film includes some foul language … mostly the fault of Terry, its roguish ugly duckling. For numerous critics, myself included, You Can Count On Me was one of the more beautiful and profound films of 2000, a deeply moving story about recovering sinaholics. (It also contained two of the best performances of the year.) Should we have abstained from the film because of Terry's swearing? We might ask Pastor Ron, "What's the Church's official position on cussing?" "Well," he'd say, "It's a sin." "But should we stay away from movies when we might hear it? Shouldn't moviemakers quit putting swearing in their movies?"
Last week, critics and readers raised their voices on whether onscreen nudity is or is not appropriate … and if it is, how, when, and where "proper" use is distinguished. (You can read a follow-up at the end of today's column.) Next week, we'll move on to the subject of foul language. Some press STOP when they hear a swear word on their movie ...1