What Makes an R-Rated Movie Worth My Time

Brandon Hong

After approximately 16 years on planet Earth, I have watched a total of four “Rated R” movies. The reason why I have not watched more is because I am very selective with the criteria that I use to choose the content I prefer to watch. Movies that are classified as “R” or “restricted” are placed into the category because the flick either contains colorful language, excessive violence, or explicit  sexual content. While these three criteria help to describe what kind of content will be in a film, my standards for selecting a movie to watch extend a bit further.

Generally, for a restricted movie to be worth my time, it cannot heavily rely on sexual content or violence to maintain the watcher’s attention, rather it can be a recurring theme throughout the show to make the audience have a genuine laugh. So far, I have discovered such content by reading critical movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes in order to gain the intellectual input from the most experienced and hardcore movie watchers in the United States of America. Through these brilliant human beings I discovered the “Rated R” gems: 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Deadpool and the best movie of them all, Tammy.

In all seriousness, the factor that makes Tammy the best “Rated R” movie compared to the other movie gems in this department, is the rewatchability that it holds. 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street and Deadpool are embedded in my memory for their comedic use of over-the-top violence to create silly humor. However, while these three movies offer a good watch for most viewers, they are pathetic in comparison to the two-and-a-half-star movie, Tammy. Tammy, starring Melissa McCarthy, managed to become the perfect “Rated R” movie through its use of violence, original jokes and references, and comedic sexual humor; qualities that a majority of “Restricted” movies have. The quality that separates this movie in the use of these three elements, is that the execution was done so well to the point that I cannot recall the plot and story that the main protagonist had to endure.

Moreover, Tammy does not heavily rely on sexual content and violence for comedy, but instead uses intelligent writing mixed with hints of subtle vulgarity, as can be seen by the brilliantly written line: ‘read between the lines.” The phrase refers to flipping somebody off. Usually, a good story is what a person watching a movie is searching for, in fact, it is the quality that made 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street and Deadpool great movies. While this may be true, Tammy’s brilliantly forgettable story allows me to rewatch the movie multiple times and still be able to have a good laugh every single time. Through the masterpiece, Tammy, I discovered that this is the quality that makes a “Rated R” movie worth my time: the perfect balance between silly comedy and rewatchability.