The Oscar broadcasts used to try desperately to find "creative" ways to explain the voting rules with cheesy comedy routines or musical numbers. But there was never any gag or tap-dance routine that could make them entertaining -- or comprehensible.
Kirby Dick tries similarly to jazz up "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," his lively expose of the corrupt procedures of The Motion Picture Association of America, but his efforts to create a detective story, or jazz things up with animations out of some profane Bell Telephone classroom film, are injudicious and unnecessary, since his subject is fascinating to anybody who cares about the movie business or censorship. And that's pretty much this movie's target audience. If anything, Dick's gimmicks detract from what could have been a more compelling film if he'd just played it comparatively straight.
Newsweek critic David Ansen says of the unaccountability of the MPAA: "Even though it's supposed to protect children, it's turning us all into children." I sometimes had the same feeling watching "This Film Is Not Yet Rated."
Americans like to think they resist any form of government-imposed censorship. The trend since the Reagan administration has been toward less government regulation of private industry. But let a star-spangled nipple appear during the Super Bowl half-time show, and suddenly half the country's crying out for the FCC to crack down on semi-nudity on television.