MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3

Woody Allen's dark comedy, CELEBRITY, portrays the vain and often self- destructive celebrity lifestyle. You can learn a lot about a society by who it chooses to celebrate is one of its central messages. A recently divorced writer (Kenneth Branagh) leaves his unexciting marriage and goes on a fruitless, bumbling search for personal and sexual fulfillment in the celebrity lifestyle. His ex-wife (Judy Davis), through her romantic involvement with a television producer (Joe Mantegna), becomes the host of a popular celebrity talk show. The irony is that she ends up, quite by accident, with the good fortune, personal satisfaction, and fame her ex-husband has been trying so hard to find.

For Woody Allen fans this film will probably not disappoint - it's witty, provocative, cynical, and filmed in black in white. If you're not a fan, you may find the black and white format pretentious, the story slow and difficult to follow, and the constant dialogue tiresome. This commentary examines the pursuit of a celebrity lifestyle that is often decadent and void of real significance. In his attempt to convey the sordid realities of this lifestyle, Allen bombards the viewer with crude, offensive, and sexually explicit material. Sexual material includes intercourse, bisexuality, lesbianism, and mock oral sex with a banana. The coarse language includes 46 f-words and 7 profanities. References to religion are irreverent, including a woman who says she thinks about the crucifixion when she's having sex. Woody Allen often strikes a nerve with his uninhibited filmmaking, but he has definitely pushed the bounds of even the R-rating in CELEBRITY. This film is intended for mature adults and should not be viewed by teenagers. We cannot recommend CELEBRITY for any audience, as it presents a barrage of twisted sexuality, obscene and profane language, and negative and irreverent religious references.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10025

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: Several (10) times - Mild, 4, Moderate, 6

Obscene Language: Many (58) times (f-word 46, s-word 8, Other 4)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 7 (G 4, GD 1, C 1, J 1)

Violence: Once (man has violent outburst toward girlfriend)

Sex: Few times (on office desk, group sex with two couples with graphic sexual motions and sounds); Implied Once (premarital sex in hotel room)

Nudity: None; Near Nudity: Several times (females in lingerie, couple partially clothed during intercourse, couple in underwear/lingerie, men and women in bed naked with breasts and genitals obstructed, couple bathing together)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to woman lying in bed naked as a girl and watching body develop, caressing breasts, unbridled lust, to marital commitment only applying to 'going all the way', self gratification, male and female genitals, porn channel and escort, premarital/teenage sex, sexual technique, sexually active being 'great', unconventional sex, sexually addicted actress, big-bosomed woman, sexually suggestive artwork, the crucifixion going through woman's mind during sex, sexually suggestive dancing, kissing and fondling, sex technique lessons on unconventional sex); Implied: Once (fondling from neck up)

Drugs: Some (alcohol abuse, drug abuse including cocaine and marijuana, party scenes)

Other: Comparing popularity of Pope and Elvis to Jesus and the Beatles, street vendor sells tacky Catholic figurines of Mary and Christ, irreverent prayer about having sex with sex-addicted woman, negative connotation of moral/religious constraint on sexual activity; reference to having an abortion, marriage portrayed as boring and unfulfilling, cynical view of family

Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature adults

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