Short Cuts

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3 1/2

Billed as a comedy, SHORT CUTS is a mish-mash of about 22 supposedly "ordinary" characters in a Los Angeles neighborhood. One young mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) earns money by talking dirty sex on the phone to avoid leaving her children with baby sitters. An arrogant policeman (Tim Robbins) cheats on his wife, and his girl friend cheats on him. A group of fishermen discover the body of a young woman in their fishing hole but continue their weekend with the body floating nearby. Lily Tomlin loves a hopeless drunk and ends up as drunk as he is. The one respectable couple face a terrible tragedy when their son is hit by a car. Each has a depressing story that ends pretty much as it began. This reviewer hoped that when a minor earthquake shook LA, it would swallow them all up for a happy ending, but that didn't happen in this 3-hour film.

Director Robert Altman's films may be considered "art," but people with morals will not appreciate this piece of garbage. Instead of resolving their problems, the couples use liquor to block them out. Everyone swears incessantly at each other, spewing out obscenities and regular profanities. Most conversation refers to crude sexual activity. The phone sex talk takes place in the presence of children and husband. A fisherman urinates, exposing himself. One man's anger at his wife drives him to kill another, but the death is attributed to the earthquake. Full female frontal nudity occurs throughout: A young girl in a swimming pool, the floating body, nude paintings, and one very shocking prolonged scene of a wife standing in front of the camera totally nude from the waist down. If SHORT CUT's offensive elements were cut, it would indeed be short; maybe even non-existent.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Flr., NY, NY 10106

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 (32) times - Moderate 18; Mild 14

Obscene Language: Many (71) times (f-word 33; s-word 14; other 24)

Profanity: Many (38) times - Regular 30; Exclamatory 8

Violence: Few times - Moderate and Severe (hand severely cut; woman killed off-camera; suicide with car exhaust; little boy knocked down by car; house vandalized)

Sex: Twice (graphic, no nudity)

Nudity: Several times (full frontal female, prolonged three scenes; man exposes himself while urinating; rear male and female few times; nude paintings)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (Crude references to sexual activity, women's bodies; dirty sex talk on phone)

Drugs: Many times (drunkenness several times; pot smoking; implied drug use; social drinking)

Other: None

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