Thank you, Wal-Mart, for protecting our moral fibre
I was at Wal-Mart yesterday to get exciting things like a cheap Blu-Ray player and some apples and shelf-brackets and other essentials. And there’s a huge bin full of $5 DVD movies in the back, which serves as a kind of social network for the flu germs of people rummaging through them.
Anyway, who could resist that? I looked in the bin and found a $5 copy of Waitress. MrsDoF and I first saw it at the Historic Normal Theater and liked it a lot. So I nabbed it and the Mrs put it right in the player that evening. And then…
“They censored it!”
The movie has a pivotal scene in which the title character’s husband Earl barges into the restaurant where she works, furious with her for reasons I shan’t explain, swearing and breaking up furniture. The rest of the movie depends on that scene, but Wal-Mart Bowdlerized it down to just a thrown chair and the angry phrase; “I am very disappointed in you!”
The end of the movie therefore made a lot less sense, and to add insult to injury it was the last movie that director Adrienne Shelly made before someone murdered her at 40. I suppose in a way, it was her dying message to the world, though she didn’t expect it to be. But hey, at least Wal-Mart protected us from the bad words in it.
Thanks, Wal-Mart. I mean, yes; it’s an adult movie in the first place (and by “adult” I mean that it was written for actual grown-ups) but it would be valuable for kids to see it too. Young boys would understand that it’s bad to be a controlling jerk, and young girls would learn that relationships like that can’t end well, but everyone would also find out that even jerks are human, but sometimes just insecure. And men thinking about having an affair might realize it probably isn’t a great idea. And old people sometimes just seem meaner than they really are. Not a bad day’s work for a charming movie that would be on Hallmark Hall of Fame if the HHoF movies were ever that good.
I suppose this means that Wal-Mart has morally vetted every other object and media in the store and decided that it’s OK. Seems like a rather far-reaching social responsibility for a store chain to take on, but if any corporation is up to it, I guess they are.
Wal-Mart apparently approves of the checkout-aisle magazines with Photoshopped women on the cover, that drive teen girls to anorexia and even suicide trying to match that impossible standard. It looks like they endorse the fraudulent homeopathic junk in their pharmacy on the shelf right next to legitimate medicine. They must approve of the “Saw” movies and the “Halloween” movies and all that crap about sparkly vampires. And I guess they don’t have any problem with Janet Napolitano making announcements on monitors in the store to remind us that if we “see something” we should “say something”.
(I see a metastasizing fascist state; who should I say it to?)
What other movies and scenes did they censor? If I buy a book from them, can I depend on it having the author’s words in it? Is there hexavalent chromium in my breakfast cereal but they thought it would be too disturbing to put in the ingredient list?
I ordered another copy of Waitress from Amazon. And say, Wal-Mart; see if I ever buy another movie, book, magazine, or any other media product from you, ever again.
- The restaurant in the movie specializes in creative pies. The pies are on-screen a lot. I think I gained about three pounds just watching.