August 14, 2013

Doug Hawley: Skip trashy films, visit playhouses instead

By Doug Hawley

— “Gone With the Wind,” a classic in American movies, will be remembered by many people for one line.

Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) told Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) at the end, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a .... .” It might have been the first time that a big-time American movie ever had a curse word uttered.

Little did we know how tame that line was. Consider how bad the language is at so many of today’s cinemas.

One of the latest movies, “We’re the Millers,” features superstar Jennifer Aniston in a comedy. With her appeal, it likely will be a box office success.

A headline in one magazine section referred to the movie as “refreshingly funny.”

Nevertheless, try to digest the rating for this flick which seems about average these days from Hollywood: “R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, brief graphic nudity.”

If you are a father or mother, is this the type movie that you would take your children, your mother or your minister to view?

My answer would be a definite no. For those people who want to be entertained — including those youngsters on dates — this is where many people will go.

There certainly is an alternative on the local scene. It comes in the form of playhouses.

Over the past couple of months, I have been privileged to watch a couple of tremendous presentations at the Artistic Civic Theatre Playhouse in Dalton: “Oklahoma!” and most recently “Happy Days.” Both featured talented local actors minus the profanity.

The Dalton Little Theatre, which is one of the oldest continuous playhouses in Georgia, also has its share of quality entertainment. In most cases, I would give “A” grades for performances at both sites.

Hats off to those actors and all of those behind the scenes who help create such success. In spending numerous hours of hard work, they apparently consider their efforts “a labor of love.”

Do not forget numerous benefactors and the businesses who realize the importance of the arts.

If you are a father or mother, is this the type entertainment that you would take your children, your mother or your minister to?

You bet that I would. I will continue to do so.

It is my understanding that most area high schools present quality plays. That comes through excellent drama groups. Those youngsters help provide the talent for so many of the terrific plays at ACT and the Dalton Little Theatre.

Various Hollywood actors use their influence to endorse political candidates and focus on other favorite projects. Realistically, they often do not have a clue.

What I wish is that those superstars such as George Clooney and Aniston would let it be known that they are not going to act in any more R-rated movies. With their influence, the directors and producers certainly would take notice. Rest assured, the Hollywood powers hardly would turn them down. There is too much money at stake.

Clooney and Aniston still could be expected to make their customary $20 million or so per movie. They also would be performing in a classier environment, and Hollywood could emerge as the “good guys.”

If this wish does not happen, simply remember the alternatives at the local playhouses. After those viewings, you can return home with a good feeling about what has transpired.

Dalton resident Doug Hawley is a frequent contributor to The Daily Citizen.