Paper, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) is city editor for the "New York Sun," a neighborhood newspaper rather than a world news source. Henry's wife Marty (Marisa Tomei), a former reporter, is eight months pregnant and worried about their future. Henry has a chance to move to the "Sentinel," the big paper in town. The story of the day is two white businessmen shot in their car. Two black teens seen running from the car are arrested, but Sun reporter McDougal (Randy Quaid) overhears a police radio comment that they may be innocent. Bernie (Robert Duvall), the general editor of the "Sun" suffering from prostate cancer, gives Henry a chance to find the story. However, conflicts erupt when ambitious Alisha (Glenn Close), the managing editor, sets an almost impossible deadline. A variation of THE FRONT PAGE, this is an entertaining look at the personalities and activities in a newspaper office. Each character's personal story comes to life in the frantic search for the truth behind the arrest.

Like many entertaining films, this one is pulled down by the incessant profanity and obscenities that pass for atmosphere. Numerous crude comments are made about Bernie's prostate problems as well as Marty's pregnancy. Alisha has a husband and a lover. Although sex is implied, we see only the couple dressing afterwards. Marty is seen in her underwear, apparently to emphasize her pregnancy. She has a friend who also gave up a career for family, and is now an alcoholic who degrades motherhood. However, she does tell Marty that the problems and worries are all forgotten after the birth. Violence is moderate, limited mostly to a couple of fist fights. Alisha is shot in the leg during a bar fight, but the wound is seen only briefly. Loyal, honest Henry is a loving husband torn between his work and his family. Because of its overbearing offensive language, we can only recommend that this paper be seen and not heard.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (37) times - Mild 14, Moderate 23

Obscene Language: Many (83) times - (f-word 36, s-word 39, other 8)

Profanity: Many (43) times - Regular 29; Exclamatory 14

Violence: Several times - Moderate (fist fights, leg injury)

Sex: Implied once

Nudity: Near nudity (pregnant woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Suggestive comments

Drugs: Social drinking condoned

Other: Motherhood implied as end of working career

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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